American Dining is an audio project that grew out of The Waitresses, a collaborative performance art group founded in Los Angeles in 1977 by Jerri Allyn and Anne Gauldin. In 1986, an art museum funded Allyn to perform American Dining in restaurants. Audio recordings played on faux jukeboxes, while Allyn performed waitressing along with staff. She toured this piece for 3 years. In 1989, New American Radio commissioned this version. “Drawing from her own experience as a waitress, Allyn creates song-narratives that offer fascinating insights into a world usually unnoticed by customers – the bizarre and very human world of the over-worked waitress. It’s a world of men showing off their improvisational genius for sexual word play; of ambiguous relationships to the union; a world where an old and forgotten lady, who once introduced American radio audiences to broccoli is rediscovered. Combining perceptive writing with a skillful delivery, a folksy sound score by Bob Davis of Earwax Productions, and a delightful sense of down-home humor, this work will change your image of American diners and their waitresses forever.” [Quoted from New American Radio – somewhere.org ]
Jerri Allyn is an activist artist and educator interested in civic engagement through interdisciplinary projects that provide a forum for multiple voices that often become a part of public life. Acting and script: Jerri Allyn. Sound score by Bob Davis. Recorded at Earwax Productions. Commissioned by Helen Thorington of New American Radio.
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