Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. Camel Dung and Cloves by Dara Murphy is not your average tea party. With rich, eccentric parts for girls, the twists and turns in this high school play are definitely worth checking out.
Sara enjoys the ritual of making and drinking tea. Maybe she enjoys it a little too much.
Sara pays Empy to join her at a tea party. Empy is eager to make a quick buck. But what are Sara’s motives? What about the bones in the black box? And what exactly is in the tea?
Why did we publish this play?
Dara Murphy started sending us plays when she was a student and the first thing that struck us was her black sense of humour. We love it. (Don’t believe me? Check out Magic Fairy in the Microwave.) Now Dara is a drama teacher with less time to write but we’re thrilled to be able to share her work with you, including this dark and twisted gem.
Do you have girls who are tired of being stereotyped and enjoy dark and twisted? Camel Dung and Cloves has got rich and eccentric roles for girls with plot turns that never stop coming.
Let’s hear from the author!
1. Why did you write this play?
I was inspired by an email from Theatrefolk that said they needed more plays with female characters. I didn’t have a story in mind, but I suddenly had an image of a tough girl poking around in a girly-girl room. I was curious to write the play and explore the girls’ characters and dynamics. It was a fun play to write!
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
The theme of this play is how easily people can deceive others by taking advantage of their assumptions and expectations.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
I think of two contrasting visuals. The beginning image is of a tough female character overpowering a sweet girl in her own room. The final image is that same tough character, now totally subdued, in a room that has suddenly overpowered her.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
You might want to make some of the props “larger than life” so they are easy to see. If everything doesn’t fit in one box, the girls can also take props out from under the bed.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
I think this is a fun play to act because the characters are so mysterious and devious. The ending is also surprising and unexpected. Oh, and they get to say words like “pig fetus”.