The Origins of “The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus”
Grades: 6 - 12

Video Description: Playwright Eric Coble describes where the idea for his play, “The Girl Who Swallowed a Cactus,” came from and how he and director Julia Flood began to bring it to life.

Type of Video: Segment*
Unique Video ID: Theatre-137**

Quick Ideas for Using the Video:

  • Take this opportunity for your learners to hear directly from a playwright and theatre director. Before a play can reach the stage, it must be written and it must come from an idea in the playwright’s head. Have each learner develop a scenario for a play. Have them decide the following: In what location(s) will the action of the play occur? Why did they choose those locations? How would they describe those locations? What 2 or 3 characters will be part of the play? How would they describe those characters? What are five major events that would happen in the play? In what order?As a follow up to the activity above, place students in group and have each student present their scenario to the other members in the group. Have each group select one scenario they want to recommend that the class take on and develop into a play. Then have each group present their choice so the class can make a final decision.


*Segment videos are short excerpts edited from interviews or interactive programs that offer flexible and differentiated ways to use the rich content included in the full-length conversation.

**The unique Video ID can be used to quickly locate a single video in the ET collection. This search function is designed to let teachers assign students to watch a specific video and have only that video appear as a search result. Just click on Search and choose “By Video ID.” Then type in the Video ID as it appears above. Be sure to include the dash.