How to Make a Methodist Salad

Methodist Salad, 2008.  Photo: Dave Andrews.

How to Make a Methodist Salad exists as an 8-minute solo I performed in 2008 as part of my MFA concert.  It is my autobiographical account of growing up in the Midwest, and demonstrates the innocence, youthful exuberance, and safety we all experience as children.  As the piece evolves, it also shows the eventual loss of those elements through the process of growing up.  At the end of the day, we all have to decide what we take with us, what we leave behind, what makes us who we are, and what defines our philosophy.

Using the solo as a springboard, I want to create an evening-length piece that covers many phases of life, all relating to one singular recipe.  At birthdays, picnics, weddings, baby showers, and funerals, this dish of white marshmallow, coconut, whipped cream and mandarin oranges, is present.  My mother always referred to it as a “Methodist salad,” because it is such a staple in that church’s culture.  In nearly every family memory I have, that food is a constant.  Using text, dance, live singing, set design, and video, I intend to build Methodist Salad into an entertaining, poignant, and relatable piece.

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