Is there an art form untouched by frybread? No! This week we bring you The Frybread Queen, a new work by playwright Carolyn Dunn, of Muskogee Creek, Cherokee and Seminole descent.
The play debuted earlier this year at The Autry’s Native Voices series and was written as an extension of Dunn’s most recent novel.
Dunn told LA Stage Times in Native Voices Open’s Carolyn Dunn’s The Frybread Queen:
“The novel ends with the death of one of these family members. I wondered what would happen after her death, so I thought the funeral would be the next logical place to go because there would still be a lot of tension in the family. So, I decided to write a play for four very strong Native actresses.”
A former actress, Dunn laments the dearth of quality female roles for Native American women and seeks to change that through The Frybread Queen. She began developing the play four years ago. “It came pretty quickly because I knew the characters so well and it’s a very character-driven story.”
The Autry blog, in “The Frybread Queen”: More Than a Handful of Recipes, describes how frybread is used as a tool for characterization:
The plot is complicated and the relationships deeply intertwined. But each woman has a moment within the play to “shine,” as it were, when she recites her personal recipe for Indian frybread, a monologue meant to also encapsulate her essence.
It’s true – one’s frybread recipe can be deeply tied to one’s personal experience and identity.
Watch the trailer of The Frybread Queen: