Margo Seibert, Jennifer Bareilles, Jeffrey Bean, and Greg Keller will star in the world premiere of Larissa FastHorse’s comedy The Thanksgiving Play at Playwrights Horizons this fall. The new play takes a satirical, behind-the-scenes look as a group of well-intentioned white teaching artists scramble to create an ambitious "woke" Thanksgiving pageant that also celebrates Native American Heritage Month.
Directed by Tony nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Hand to God, Present Laughter), the play will begin performances October 12 in the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Playwrights Horizons, marking FastHorse's first full production in New York.
FastHorse explains that, after having been told numerous times that it was too hard to find Native American actors to play her characters, she wrote a play about white people trying to create a play about Indigenous people in their absence. In The Thanksgiving Play, American history, privilege-checking, self-importance, and political correctness collide.
“I live in Santa Monica, and work in American theatre, and I’m a Native American person in this country, so I know all of these people intimately well—I meet them every day," says FastHorse. "White liberal America has to do this constant dance of not wanting to offend and not wanting to upset and trying to do everything right—it’s this constant moving target that has no logic to it, but that dance is deadly for people like myself and my career. If you can’t make mistakes, we can’t learn and figure anything out together.”
“The Thanksgiving Play is the type of comedy that destabilizes you, where you leave feeling askew, and you have to put something back together somehow,” adds Stuelpnagel.
Bareilles (Valer, Maybe Tomorrow) plays Logan, Bean (Bells Are Ringing, Amadeus) plays Caden, Keller (Our Mother’s Brief Affair; The Humans, Office Hour) plays Jaxton, and Seibert (In Transit, Rocky) plays Alicia.
The creative team for the world premiere is made up of Wilson Chin (scenic design), Tilly Grimes (costume design), Isabella Byrd (lighting design), Mikaal Sulaiman (sound design), and Katie Ailinger (production stage manager).
For more information visit phnyc.org.