Online Play Reading of Slow Food
Text by Steve Carr Photos Courtesy of Arizona Theatre Company

Above: ATC presents the online play reading of Wendy MacLeod’s Slow Food. 

Arizona Theatre Company continues its series of online play readings with Wendy MacLeod’s comedy for anyone who’s ever been “hangry,” Slow Food, beginning at 5 p.m. on September 15. The reading will be available through September 19.

MacLeod, whose play Women in Jeopardy! is included in ATC’s 2021 Mainstage season when live performances resume early next year, tells the story of Irene and Peter, who just want to have a nice meal out in Palm Springs on their big anniversary.

But, their highly neurotic waiter, Stephen, will not bring them their food, and everything goes horribly, ridiculously wrong. This absurd server will have them examining everything from their menu choices to their very future together. Will their shared desperation get them their spanakopita or end their marriage?

 Slow Food will be accessible on Arizona Theatre Company’s website ( as well as on Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo from September 15 at 5 p.m. through September 19 at 5 p.m. A variety of programming around the play also will be available. There is no charge to view the play, but donations to Arizona Theatre Company are encouraged and will be greatly appreciated. For additional information, visit

Above: Left to right; Sean Daniels and Chanel Bragg are co-directing Slow Food.

ATC Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Associate Artistic Director Chanel Bragg are co-directing Slow Food, which features Daina Griffith and Joel Van Liew as the celebrating couple and Brian Beacock as the waiter. ATC’s Matthew DeVore is the Sound Designer; Ido Levran is the Technology Director; and Kristi Hess is the Stage Manager.

I’ve been lucky enough to direct several world premieres of Wendy MacLeod, including Slow Food, and I’m thrilled for the first thing I direct for ATC to be a true bit of comedic genius by someone I admire so much,” said ATC Artistic Director Sean Daniels.  “Play readings are an important part of theatre’s creative process, providing an opportunity to hear how a play reads – its flow and rhythm – and letting us work through sections and make improvements,” said Daniels. “Watching them digitally, with the actors performing in their homes, it’s an intimate glimpse into part of the play-making process that audiences don’t usually see. And this play is just pure hilarity.”

Above: Left to right: Actors Daina Griffith, Joel Van Liew and Brian Beacock.

Bragg agreed, noting, “Personally, I think our patrons could use an uproarious comedy at this time. With all that is going on in the world today, a little escapism is certainly welcome. Reading the script, I was immediately nostalgic to the days we sat in a restaurant. What I would give to have terrible service right now!”  

ATC’s online readings are sponsored by Lavidge with additional support from Gammage and Burnham and Snell and Wilmer.        

In addition to the play reading of Slow Food, the public is invited to participate in ATC Nails It!a virtual culinary contest in which people can compete in a butter carving competition. Participants must carve one of three images on ATC’s website at (Charlie Brown, The Infinity Gauntlet, and Simba from the Lion King), and have 14 minutes to carve it. Entries will be judged on likeness, creativity and how hard it makes the judges laugh. 

Entries must be received by September 17 at 5 p.m. and can be emailed to or posted on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ATCNAILSIT. Rules and entry information can be found on ATC’s website. For more information, visit