The Department of Theatre at Hope College will present “The Thanksgiving Play” by Larissa FastHorse via livestream on Friday, Oct. 30, and Thursday and Friday, Nov. 5-6, at 7 p.m.; and on Saturday, Oct. 31, and Saturday, Nov. 7, at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Out of an abundance of caution due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no in-person audience.
The presentations are free, but advance registration is required at hope.edu/tickets. Registration is available online only, and not via phone or at the ticket office. The livestreaming address will be provided to those who have registered to watch the event online.
Directed by Richard Perez, assistant professor of theatre, “The Thanksgiving Play” is a comedy about four white Americans trying to be as respectful and woke as possible on the matter of Native American history. Preparing a Thanksgiving play for elementary school children, with a grant specifically intended to highlight the American Indian experience, the characters demonstrate how inadequate their own education in and knowledge of the historical truth of the holiday and Native American culture actually are.
Perez describes his attraction to the script: “One of the most compelling reasons I chose to direct ‘The Thanksgiving Play’ is its humorous examination of liberal pretense. The play does an excellent job of satirically reminding us that perhaps we aren’t always as ‘woke’ as we think we are. Secondly, I feel it is more important than ever to bring stories to the stage that give a voice to under-represented theatre artists. Our decision to produce Larissa FastHorse, a woman and indigenous American playwright, is an intentional move in that direction.”
In addition to Perez, the production team includes theatre department chair Michelle Bombe as costume designer, and assistant professor Eric Van Tassell as scenery and lighting designer. Staff members Ken Chamberlain, Stephen Krebs and Darlene Veenstra serve as sound designer, technical director, and costume shop manager respectively. Several students also serve on the production team: stage manager, junior Lisbeth Franzon of Whitehall; assistant stage managers, freshmen Lydia Konings of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Rachel Scott of Clarkston; properties assistant, freshman Erin Bodenbender Holland; assistant sound designer, senior Madison Meeron of Oxford; and assistant costume designer, freshman Cherokee Bauer of Tucson, Arizona.
The cast includes freshman Cecilia Casper of Eden Prairie, Minnesota; sophomore Adam Chamness of Holland; freshman Grant McKenzie of Western Springs, Illinois; and sophomore Katy Smith of Plymouth, Indiana.
Updates about the production will be available on the department’s social media
(Hope College Theatre Department on Facebook; @hopetheatredept on Instagram).