September 18, 2010

Frybread Queen explores tribal connections

‘Frybread Queen’ explores individuals, roles, tribes

By Joe NickellIn Indian Country, frybread isn’t simply food. Though comprised of the simplest ingredients, the humbly named staple sandwiches aspects of culture, family and tribal tradition in its folds. And it’s the meaning, more than the meal, that matters in Carolyn Dunn’s play, “The Frybread Queen,” says Jere Hodgin.

“The interesting thing about the title, each of the women in the play at some point tells the story of how they make frybread; but the frybread itself isn’t the point,” said Hodgin, director of a production of the new play, which opens at the University of Montana tonight. “Rather, it’s something that unifies these women as Natives from different tribes, and that allows some of their different perspectives to come forth.”

For the four women in “The Frybread Queen,” those different perspectives encompass elements of generation, tribe, and family--all of which come to bear when they are called the funeral of an enigmatic man who connects them all.
Comment:  For more on the play, see Frybread Queen at University of Montana and Developing The Frybread Queen. For more on frybread, see Review of Losing It with Jillian and Jillian Stirs Frybread Furor.

Below:  "“The Frybread Queen” is presented by The University of Montana School of Theatre and Dance and is co-produced by Native Voices at the Autry and Montana Repertory Theatre."

1 comment:

Rob said...

More on the subject:

Haunting drama tells the story of native families

"The seed of the story is the death of someone very well loved by his family (who) kills himself," said Carolyn Dunn, the playwright for "The Frybread Queen."

The four characters in this story battle their own blame and guilt, trying to understand how Paul reached that final point, Dunn said, and if it could have been prevented.

Running deeply through the play are strains of Navajo mysticism and superstition. The ghosts of the deceased move about the set demanding the characters to confront their buried anger against each other.

"The Navajo have very specific rules and ceremonies that revolve around death," Dunn said.