Arts & Culture

You're Cordially Invited to UK Theatre's 'The Thanksgiving Play'

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photo of cast members rehearsing UK Theatre's "The Thanksgiving Play" standing in front of chalkboard
photo of cast member rehearsing UK Theatre's "The Thanksgiving Play" standing in front of chalkboard
photo of Peter Allen Stone directing "The Thanksgiving Play" rehearsal

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 11, 2021) — As American society begins to question more and more how much of the Thanksgiving history they know is true, the University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance presents MacArthur Fellow and Native American playwright Larissa FastHorse’s hit satirical comedy "The Thanksgiving Play." Join UK Theatre as they take on "wokeness" and display how humor can fuel change by sparking productive dialogue around race and equity. "The Thanksgiving Play" will open UK Theatre's Main Stage Season Oct. 14-17, at the Briggs Theatre, located in the Fine Arts Building. 

"The Thanksgiving Play" introduces audiences to four “woke” white artists attempting to devise a politically correct and historically accurate play for an elementary school in honor of Native American Heritage Month. What could go wrong? You’ll laugh, you’ll learn and you’ll be thankful you saw this gem of the theatre. "The Thanksgiving Play" challenges the myths surrounding Thanksgiving, FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) says, and how celebrating the holiday can erase and flatten Indigenous experiences.

Director Peter Allen Stone, assistant professor, thinks this is the perfect time to bring this production to the UK Theatre stage, "It is such an exciting time to return to live theatre with this ensemble of talented, hilarious and collaborative actors. Our rehearsals have been an absolute joy, and I can't think of a more important and timely piece to be performing than 'The Thanksgiving Play.'"

The cast of UK Theatre's production of "The Thanksgiving Play" features: theatre and arts administration senior Zoe Womack, playing Logan; theatre junior Wheeler Green, playing Jaxton; junior Mason Fryman, playing Caden; and nursing junior Breanna Duvall, playing Alicia, with a chorus including theatre and psychology sophomore Brandon Bost, theatre and arts administration senior Ceana Carey, theatre and integrated strategic communication sophomore Sara Spellman and chemical engineering freshman Alessandra Lozano. Theatre and journalism senior Spencer Neichter is serving as stage manager. 

"The Thanksgiving Play" is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French Inc.  

"The Thanksgiving Play" takes the spotlight 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 14-16, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16 and 17. Tickets to "The Thanksgiving Play" are $10 for students with a university ID and $15 for the general public. To purchase tickets to UK Theatre and Dance's productions, contact the Singletary Center for the Arts ticket office at 859-257-4929, visit online at www.scfatickets.com, or visit the ticket office in person.

UK Department of Theatre and Dance performances will be presented in compliance with the UK mask mandate

The Department of Theatre and Dance, part of UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre. Students in the department get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from professional theatre and dance faculty and renowned guest artists in acting, directing, playwriting, theatrical design and technology, and dance. From mainstage productions to student-produced shows, students have plenty of opportunities to participate on stage or backstage. Special programs include a musical theatre certificate, education abroad, as well as a thriving dance program that emphasizes technique, composition, performance and production.

UK College of Fine Arts respectfully acknowledges that the University of Kentucky sits​ on the traditional territory of the Osage, Shawnee, Cherokee, Adena, and Hopewell peoples.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.