The Thanksgiving Play
Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.
Credit: Conor Horgan
Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) is an award winning writer and 2020-2025 MacArthur Fellow. Her satirical comedy, The Thanksgiving Play, made her the first known female Native American playwright on Broadway at the Helen Hayes under the direction of Rachel Chavkin. Her new plays in 2023 are Wicoun (Cornerstone Theater Company), Democracy Project (Federal Hall), Fake It Until You Make It ( CTG Mark Taper Forum), For the People (Guthrie), and the national tour of Peter Pan (Networks). Selected past plays include What Would Crazy Horse Do? (KCRep), Landless and Cow Pie Bingo (AlterTheater), Average Family (Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis), Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation (Native Voices at the Autry), as well as numerous productions of The Thanksgiving Play, making it one of the most produced plays in America.
Larissa created the nationally recognized trilogy of community engaged theatrical experiences with Cornerstone Theater Company; Urban Rez, Native Nation, and Wicoun. She and her collaborator, Michael John Garcés, spend years on each project in an Indigenized community engagement process. “The engagement itself is the art form.” These projects have earned them national funding and an appointment to Arizona State University.
Larissa’s company with Ty Defoe, Indigenous Direction, recently produced the first land acknowledgement on national television for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and continues to consult for them. They also consult for the largest theater organizations in the country.
Larissa also writes in film and television, most recently as a creator for NBC, Disney Channel, Dreamworks, Muse, Netflix and others. She is based in Los Angeles with her husband, the sculptor Edd Hogan, and represented by Jonathan Mills at Paradigm NY. She is especially honored to follow in the footsteps of the last known Native American playwright on Broadway, Lynn Riggs. hoganhorsestudio.com
Meet the Cast
Studio Theatre Worcester: debut. Recent credits: Dance Nation (Apollinaire Theatre Company), Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley* (The Burlington Players) *EMACT DASH Nominee for Best Supporting Actor, Indecent (The Concord Players). Education: B.A in Theatre, Certificate in Arts Management, secondary major in Communication (University of Massachusetts Amherst). Month-Long Summer Training Institute (Shakespeare & Company).
Alison works as an actor, lighting electrician, scenic painter, and arts administrator. She extends a heartfelt thank you to the audience for joining us, her friends & family for their love, and this dedicated team of artists. alisonbutts.com
Johnny is excited and grateful to make his STW debut among this immensely talented ensemble. Most recently, he starred as Boy/Peter in Peter and the Starcatcher at Curtain Call Theatre. Johnny holds a B.A. in Theatre and Psychology from Bates College, where he had the opportunity to fulfill a dream of his, directing, designing, and starring in a production of Every Brilliant Thing that he produced in tandem with the college’s theater department. Currently Boston-based, Johnny is always attempting to expand his artistic horizons and provide a sense of connection and validation for his audiences. For more: johnnyesposito.com
Sandy is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University who is delighted to be making her Studio Theatre Worcester debut with such a talented team. Previous shows include A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Emmy, The John Astin Theater), She Kills Monsters (Agnes, The JHU Barnstormers), The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes, The John Astin Theater), and The Curious Savage (Fairy May, The JHU Barnstormers).
This is Erik’s first production with Studio Theatre Worcester. Previously he has been Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire and Pontius Pilate in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot for 4th Wall Stage Company, as well as Brick in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof at Stageloft Repertory Theater and The
Professor in Gilligans Island:The Musical for Stageloft Repertory Theater and Calliope Productions.