White Bread

created + performed + designed by Mia van Leeuwen

dramaturgy + direction by Piet Defraeye

A performance collage that explores celebrity, addiction, and the social history of white bread; a biting satire on the decay of the American Dream, reflected in the aging body and waning star power of the pop-icon Madonna.

White Bread references a collage of sources including Jean Genet’s The Maids, Don DeLillo’s dystopian novel Cosmopolis, lyrics from songs by Madonna and Aaron Bobrow-Strain’s White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf; as well as original text by Mia van Leeuwen. Combining postdramatic approaches to theatre along with principles of Pochinko clown and neo-buffon, and experimenting with audience-performer relationships, White Bread employs a playful, provocative, and interactive performance style.

The production toured Europe in June 2014 (Antwerp, Munich, Innsbruck, Belgrade) and Edmonton’s Stagelab Festival (2016).

White Bread (preview): “Innovation & Experimentation in theatre at Stagelab Festival 2016”: https://afterthehouselights.com/2016/08/25/innovation-experimentation-in-theatre-at-stagelab-2016/ 

“White Bread is an engaging performance unlike any other that I have seen in Western Canada. A cutting critique of pop culture performed in a unique aesthetic.”

– Kristine Nutting (Director & Playwright, Edmonton)

“…astonishing, visually punctuated theatre that arrests assumptions about fame…Mia’s prowess at storytelling allows audiences to break traditional boundaries of performance with glee….I will be forever haunted by van Leeuwen’s image of decrepit Madonna – in the same league as Brazil’s plastic surgery ladies.”

 – Gerry Morita (AD Mile Zero Dance Co., Edmonton)