This Spring Give Thanks for Great Comedy at the Playhouse

PIP_Thanksgiving Play promo

Photo by Tony Arrasmith/Arrasmith & Associates.

THE THANKSGIVING PLAY offers biting satire of political correctness
beginning March 23

CINCINNATI—Spring and comedy are in the air beginning March 23 when THETHANKSGIVING PLAY, with support from the Rosenthal Family Foundation, opens in the Shelterhouse Theatre. The satirical take on political correctness run amok plays through April 21. Opening night is March 28.

Armed with good intentions and progressive lingo, three liberal theatre artists attempt to devise a culturally sensitive Thanksgiving play for local elementary schools. They realize rather quickly that honoring Indigenous people while simultaneously celebrating the peaceful Thanksgiving feast of American lore is much more difficult than they anticipated. Their well-meaning plans dissolve into an outrageous sendup of politically correct behavior as THE THANKSGIVING PLAY treads the minefields of appropriation to inject laughter into activism, apathy and all the assumptions in between.

THE THANKSGIVING PLAY made its off-Broadway premiere at Playwrights Horizons last October. Playwright Larissa FastHorse says in an interview with the theatre, “As a Native American person, I’m really fortunate in that I get commissioned to do a lot of plays on Native American history, which tends to be majority-depressing at this point. So, I really wanted to write a comedy, and I really wanted to have fun in the room.”

FastHorse is the first Native American playwright to be produced by the Playhouse. Artistic director Blake Robison says of FastHorse: “Larissa is an important and compelling voice in the American theatre. It’s an honor to host her in Cincinnati and bring her brilliant play to our audiences.”

Lisa Portes returns to the Playhouse to direct THE THANKSGIVING PLAY. She previously directed the 2016 production of Disgraced.

“If you consider yourself truly ‘woke,’ you might want to see [this] new comedy,” stated The Hollywood Reporter in its review of the off-Broadway production. “And if you’re not, you’ll still want to see The Thanksgiving Play, because it’s very, very funny.”

Jennifer Bareilles (Logan); Nat DeWolf (Caden); Ashley Austin Morris (Alicia); Scott Parkinson (Jaxton)

Larissa FastHorse (Playwright); Lisa Portes (Director); Brian Sidney Bembridge (Set and Lighting Designer); Bill Black (Costume Designer); Pornchanok Kanchanabanca (Composer/Sound Designer); Stephanie Klapper, CSA (Casting Director); Brooke Redler (Stage Manager)

Prices for THE THANKSGIVING PLAY start at $35, vary depending on seat location, and are subject to change. Tickets for teens and students are $30. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show. Plus, Sunday is College Night, with tickets to all 7 p.m. performances just $10. Tickets can be purchased by visiting the Playhouse website at or by calling the Box Office at 513-421-3888 or 800-582-3208 toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. For TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) access, call 513-345-2248. The Playhouse is fully accessible.

Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, at 8 p.m. Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Additional matinee at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 17.

Production Sponsor is Linda Busken Jergens in honor of Women Writing for (a) Change. Design Sponsor is Brandon Daush. Artist Sponsor is Huntington Bank. The Shelterhouse Theatre Season presented by Heidelberg Distributing Company. The Shelterhouse Theatre Season Design Sponsor is the Allan Berliant and Jennie Rosenthal Berliant Family Fund. The Season Sponsor of New Work is the Rosenthal Family Foundation. Additional support is provided the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of almost 40,000 contributors to the ArtsWave Community campaign. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation.

Sunday, March 24 | 5:30 p.m. at the Playhouse
Join us for a conversation with THE THANKSGIVING PLAY playwright Larissa FastHorse, facilitated by the show’s director, Lisa Portes. Learn about how they are bringing this fresh, new satire to life on the Shelterhouse stage, and take a deeper dive into the story’s perspective. Portes will also engage in discussion with FastHorse about her career as an award-winning theatre artist and her experiences navigating the industry as a Native American playwright. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required by calling the Box Office at 513-421-3888 or visiting The Playhouse Perspectives series is supported by a generous grant from Roderick and Barbara Barr.

Monday, April 15 | 7 p.m. at the Playhouse
The Playhouse is thrilled to be teaming up with Women Writing for a Change to help you connect your own story and writing style to the themes of THE THANKSGIVING PLAY, written by Larissa FastHorse. Join us for a guided writing experience to help you merge ideas of representation and cultural identity with your personal response to FastHorse’s new satire. Whether you have never put pen to paper or you’re an experienced storyteller, come cultivate your voice and connect with a new community creatively. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required by calling the Box Office at 513-421-3888 or visiting The Playhouse Perspectives series is supported by a generous grant from Roderick and Barbara Barr.

The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs, and complete wheelchair access are available.


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