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The Thanksgiving Play

The Thanksgiving Play
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Larissa FastHorse
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 99
Pub. Date: 2018
ISBN-10: 0573707855
ISBN-13: 9780573707858

About the Play:

The Thanksgiving Play is a full-length comedy by Larissa FastHorse. How does one celebrate Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month at the same time? In Larissa FastHorse's wickedly funny satire, this is the question facing three "woke" white thespians tasked with devising an elementary school pageant about the first Thanksgiving while avoiding any culturally appropriative missteps.

The Thanksgiving Play follows four mismatched artists, armed with good intentions, who attempt to devise a politically correct Thanksgiving play for elementary schools. They are tasked with telling the history of the holiday's origins (skipping over the violent erasure of Native Americans from their own lands) that's culturally sensitive (i.e. respectful of Native American culture) and satisfies their diversity grants (like the one they received for Native American Heritage Month awareness). Amidst their eagerness to put on the most culturally sensitive show possible, things quickly begin to devolve into the absurd, showing how even those with good intentions can be undone by their own blind spots. They realize rather quickly that honouring Indigenous people while simultaneously celebrating the peaceful Thanksgiving feast of American lore is much more difficult than they anticipated. A roast of the politics of entertainment and well-meaning political correctness alike, The Thanksgiving Play puts the American origin story itself in the comedy-crosshairs.

The Thanksgiving Play premiered in 2018 to considerable acclaim and enjoyed an extended run at Playwrights Horizons off-Broadway in New York City. Since then the play had regional premieres at professional theatres across the US and has been mounted by colleges, and community theatres.

Cast: 2 women, 2 men

What people say:

"The familiar, whitewashed story of Pilgrims and Native Americans chowing down together gets a delicious roasting from expert farceurs." — New York Times

"A satirical and visual punch." — New York Stage Review

"Very, very funny. Larissa FastHorse's The Thanksgiving Play skewers liberal pretensions with glee – this clever satire is something for which to be truly thankful." — Hollywood Reporter

About the Playwright:

Larissa FastHorse is a Native American playwright, director, and choreographer. Now based in Santa Monica, she grew up in South Dakota and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Sicangu Lakota Nation. She came to theater in her 30s, after having sustained a career as a ballet dancer, then having written for the small screen. Feeling that the stories she wanted to tell – whether speaking with specificity to Indigenous experiences, or lampooning unjust structures – would inevitably be watered down in Hollywood, she turned to playwriting. She was named a 2020 MacArthur fellow for "creating space for Indigenous artists, stories and experiences in mainstream theater and countering misrepresentation of Native American perspectives in broader society."