Saturday Selections: The Thanksgiving Play
For this week’s play recommendation, I gotta go with The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa Fasthorse. Let me tell you, if you’re looking for brilliant satire you’ve come to the right place with this show!
Logan, Caden and Jaxton are theater rats who are trying to devise a play about Thanksgiving for Native American Heritage Month. While well meaning, they try a little too hard to be politically correct, and watching them squirm within themselves is part of the humor.
One thing I can’t get over is the irony of this play. There is a huge problem with misrepresentation of people of color—if they’re even represented at all. As a matter of fact, Fasthorse had constantly been told that her plays couldn’t be produced because they had indigenous characters, and people thought it would be difficult to find actors to fill those roles. Therefore, she found a way of telling this story with white characters, and at the same time addressed the problem with the lack of opportunities for POC theatrical artists! While watching the characters trip over themselves, the audience is able to consider who in society is well meaning, and who is just giving lip service.
The play is an unflinching look at issues such as colonialism, the struggles of finding ways of using your privilege to bring about change and finding out what equity really is. The play delves into these issues with honesty, and raw emotion, all while being wickedly funny the entire time!
It is an absolute masterpiece. Check it out!