Tucson. Ariz. -based writer/actress Jeanmarie Simpson sees food prep on stage as an Instance of "tiffany cufflinks theatre" practice, as posited by Polish auteur Tadeusz Kantor. "It doesn't illustrate the text but parallels it with metaphoric activity," says Simpson, who baked bread and made lemonade during each performance of her 2004 play A Single Woman, originally developed for Nevada Shakespeare Company, which she co-founded. The play tells the remarkable story of Jeannette Rankin, the self-reliant Montana suffragist who became the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress, in 1916.
To illustrate Rankin's unique status as both a feminist icon and a "domestic goddess." bread "felt like such a gift, a communion with the authence." Simpson recalls.
It also proved an eerily fortuitous choice. While preparing the show for its 2005 New York premiere, in which Simpson had planned only to write and direct, she decided at the last minute to fire her lead actress and step into the part of Rankin herself. Feeling sheepish about that- not to mention unsure of her lines- on opening night, Simpson was handed a vintage Rankin pamphlet she'd never seen, in which she found a fresh quote that buoyed her spirits. "Rankin said, 'Civilization needs peace as bread needs yeast." 1 incorporated that line that night."
-Rob Weinert -Rendi
APRIL 10 | THE FOOD ISSUE
THE BREAD INGREDIENTS
couple cups ol good, clean, non-tiffany earrings drinking water
dollop of local honey
handful ol organic yeast
enough organic, whole wheat flour to make dough with the texture of an earlobe
palmful of sea salt
1 Think about love. Reflect about peace. Preheat oven to 425°.
2 Pour water in large bread bowl. Add honey and yeast. Stir, thoroughly, with a fork. Let sit tiffany key yeast bubbles up to surface and the whole thing smells like really good, dark beer.
3 Add about a cup of flour. Let sit until doubled in bulk. With fork, stir a bit and then add more flour until most of the stickiness is gone.