Larissa FastHorse becomes the first female Native American playwright on Broadway with The Thanksgiving Play, making its Broadway debut at the Hayes Theater. Get The Thanksgiving Play tickets now. The Thanksgiving Play Broadway tickets are available on New York Theatre Guide.
The Thanksgiving Play on Broadway employs the time-honored theatre trope of a play-within-a-play. But that play-within-a-play is sending up long-held conventions — er, trying to.
What is The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse about?
FastHorse's satire centers on an amateur theatre troupe tasked with creating a Thanksgiving play to perform at an elementary school. Wanting to center the Native American perspective in the story of the holiday, the director hires a Native actress. Only, as they find out too late, she isn't actually Native; like the other three in the group, she's white. Absurdity ensues as the troupe tries to keep their production politically correct and culturally sensitive, and even with the best intentions, there's a whole feast of issues to contend with.
FastHorse, ironically, wrote this play about America during 10 days in Ireland after winning a grant to visit and write at director Tyrone Guthrie's estate there. The Thanksgiving Play then traveled across the pond for workshops and readings in Berkeley, California; Portland, Oregon; and Baltimore, Maryland. Playwrights Horizons presented the world premiere of The Thanksgiving Play in New York, directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel, in its 2018-2019 Off-Broadway season.
The show's genesis in some ways reflects the plight of its characters, as the four-star The Thanksgiving Play review on New York Theatre Guide notes: "Not being able to get her plays produced, as it required casting Native American actors and the theaters interested in producing her work don't have access to that talent pool (if indeed it does exist at all), Ms. FastHorse charged herself with the exercise of writing a play about the Native American experience without having to cast Native Americans."
Who is Larissa FastHorse?
FastHorse is a choreographer, screenwriter, and playwright whose other plays include Landless, Native Nation, Cow Pie Bingo, and What Would Crazy Horse Do?
Who is in The Thanksgiving Play Broadway cast?
The Thanksgiving Play stars Emmy nominee D'Arcy Carden, known for A League of Their Own and The Good Place, in her Broadway debut. Alongside her is two-time Tony Award winner Katie Finneran (Noises Off; Promises, Promises), two-time Emmy nominee Chris Sullivan (This Is Us), and Scott Foley (Girls on the Bus, The Big Leap, Grey's Anatomy).
Get tickets for The Thanksgiving Play on Broadway now.
(Photos by Joan Marcus)