Tacoma Arts Live’s Theater Northwest will present the production of The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse. Director Josh Knudson leads the cast in a seasonal satire about four white people attempting create an educational and politically correct First Thanksgiving pageant for Native American Heritage Month. The play explores themes of privilege, historical accuracy, and the challenges faced by the protagonists in navigating these complexities in an eye-opening, confrontational farce.
The Thanksgiving Play opens with a preview night on Thursday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m. followed by 13 performances October 13 – November 5 in the Roosevelt Room at Tacoma Armory. Tickets are $39 and are on sale now.
- Preview Night: Thursday, October 12, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, October 13, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, October 15, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.
- Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, October 22, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.
- Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, October 27, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, October 29, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.
- Thursday, November 2, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, November 3, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, November 5, 2023 at 3:00 p.m.
All performances will be in the Roosevelt Room at Tacoma Armory.
Tacoma Armory’s Roosevelt Room will be transformed into a classroom-style space, with seating on both sides of the stage. Audiences expecting a ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving pageant may be intrigued by the play’s subject matter, which draws attention to the disparities between the myth of the peaceful feast between pilgrims and Native Americans, and the much bloodier reality. Cast member Valerie Ryan Miller describes it as her “favorite medicine: uncomfortable, devastating comedy.”
The Thanksgiving Play made its Broadway debut at the Hayes Theater in 2023, making Larissa FastHorse the first female Native American playwright known to have a play produced on Broadway. FastHorse is a MacArthur Fellow, a member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation, a playwright, director, and choreographer from South Dakota. She has made significant contributions to Native American drama following a career in ballet, television, and film.
FastHorse wrote The Thanksgiving Play in response to production roadblocks and casting difficulties with her other plays, which require Indigenous actors. The play addresses the misrepresentation of Native Americans, the lack of Indigenous casting, and the challenges of accurately representing Indigenous people in theater.
- Logan: Andrea Gordon
- Jaxton: Rodman Bolek
- Alicia: Valerie Ryan Miller
- Caden: Mikel Michener
- Director: Josh Knudson
- Production Manager: Lily Oellerich
- Assistant Production Manager: Monique Otter-Johnson
- Stage Manager: Kay Meier
- Costume Designer: Mary Kelsay
- Lighting Designer: Brett Carr
- Sound Designer: Don Littrell
- Props Designer: Kelly Zeiler Lynch
- Technical Director: Mike Figueroa
- Dramaturg: Maria-Tania Bandes B. Weingarden
- Cultural Consultant: Andre Bouchard
- DEIA Liaison: Eric Clausell
All stage work on this production is performed by employees represented by IATSE, Local #15.
Please be advised that this production contains blood, excessive violence, and gunshots.
Tacoma Arts Live’s Theater Northwest builds community through live professional theater with the belief in the intrinsic value of creativity and compensates all artists for their services. This allows Tacoma Arts Live to attract some of the region’s best talent to create performances that include and honor all cultures. This work aspires to refresh audiences by connecting to a sense of empathy, challenging complacency, and inspiration to live with joy and thoughtful inquiry.
Tickets to The Thanksgiving Play are $39 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets, call Tacoma Arts Live Box Office at 253.346.1721, visit Tacoma Armory in person at 1001 S Yakima Ave., or online at TacomaArtsLive.org.