MILWAUKEE, WI – November 17, 2021- Milwaukee Chamber Theatre announces full casting and production details forTHE THANKSGIVING PLAYby Larissa FastHorse and directed by Laura Gordon. THE THANKSGIVING PLAY opens Saturday, November 20th at 8pm. Preview night is on Friday, November 19th at 7:30pm. Tickets can be purchased via the MCT website, milwaukeechambertheatre.org/tickets or by calling 414-291-7800.
Larissa FastHorse’s play, THE THANKSGIVING PLAY, presents a team of terminally woke teaching artists whose good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in this blistering satire. Now live on stage after a celebrated run in MCT’s 20/21 virtual season. Logan is a high school drama teacher who loves to push limits. But she runs the risk of getting carried over the edge with her next play: a celebration of the first Thanksgiving that also honors Native American Heritage Month. With the help of her yoga-teaching busker boyfriend, an elementary school history expert determined to make all his theatrical dreams come true, and an “authentic” actor from Los Angeles representing all Native Americans, what could possibly go wrong?
THE THANKSGIVING PLAY is directed by Laura Gordon, a Milwaukee based actor and director. Laura’s directing credits include She Stoops to Conquer, The Unexpected Man, An Ideal Husband, The Royal Family, Seascape, Old Times (American Players Theatre); The Foreigner, Venus in Fur, Almost Maine (Milwaukee Repertory Theater); Boeing, Boeing (Indiana Rep); Measure for Measure, Love’s Labour’s Lost, The Winter’s Tale (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing (Santa Cruz Shakespeare); In the Next Room or the vibrator play (Actors Theater of Louisville); Russian Transport, Amelia, Skin Tight (Renaissance Theaterworks); The Revolutionists (Next Act Theatre); Heisenberg, Red, Going to St. Ives (Forward Theater). Her acting credits include Winnie in Happy Days, Margie in Good People, Linda Loman in Death of a Salesman, Sister Aloysius in Doubt, Elizabeth in Richard III, Maureen in The Beauty Queen of Leenane. Laura is a Lunt-Fontanne Fellow and an Associate Artist with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. She received her MFA in Acting from the University of Iowa and is a member of SDC and Actors Equity Association.
“THE THANKSGIVING PLAY is a comedy. It is satire. It is a safe space to laugh at ourselves and genuinely enjoy the evening. At the same time, it is a rarity: a Native voice. No grunts, no broken English, none of the blood curdling yelps referenced by the AITE. Just ourselves; on the history, the forefront, and the future of America theatre,” says Dramaturg, Ben Wilson
The creative team includes Stage Management by Kira Neighbors, Assistant Stage Management by Sydney Smith, Scenic and Lighting Design by Jason Fassl, Costume Design by Misti Bradford, Sound Design by Joseph Cerqua, Dramaturgy by Benjamin Wilson, Scenic Construction by Ron Scot Fry, and Properties Design by Jim Guy.
“As a comedy, the play creates a wonderful space to reflect upon-looking at you, fellow well-meaning white folks-our own disastrously failed attempts at bridging cultural divides between our friends and neighbors and consider how we can redouble our efforts and do better” says MCT Artistic Director, Brent Hazelton.
ABOUT THE ACTORS
Cassandra is thrilled to be working at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre for the first time. In Milwaukee she has appeared at Next Act Theatre (THREE VIEWINGS, THE REVOLUTIONISTS), Renaissance Theaterworks (PHOTOGRAPH 51, TOP GIRLS, AMELIA, THE UNDERSTUDY, and CRUMBS FROM THE TABLE OF JOY) and Milwaukee Rep (IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY, and MY NAME IS ASHER LEV.) Regional (LORT) credits: Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, Arizona Theatre Co., Cleveland Play House, Court Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory, Northern Stage, Northlight Theatre, People’s Light, and Utah Shakespeare Festival. Chicago (CAT) credits: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, First Folio, Next Theatre, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble, Shakespeare on the Green, Shakespeare Project of Chicago, and Steppenwolf. Small Professional Theatre (SPT) & Resident Stock (CORST) credits: Company of Fools (Sun Valley, ID), freeFall Theatre (St. Petersburg, FL), and Peninsula Players (Door County, WI.) Cassandra holds a BA in Gender Studies from the University of Chicago.
Neil is an actor, writer, and visual artist. He earned a BA from Boise State University and an MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University. Regional theater: Great Lakes Theater, Boise Contemporary Theater, Idaho Dance Theatre, Opera Idaho, Seattle Novyi Theatre, People’s Light, Cadence Theatre Co, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Door Shakespeare, Renaissance Theaterworks, Peninsula Players, Tennessee Shakespeare Co., and ten seasons with the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. Feature films: The Pact and Coming Up For Air. Writing and producing: short films Upper Fields, Flesh & Blood, Get in the Truck (on Prime Video). Audio plays: IT SOUNDS LIKE A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE DUST OF DEATH, A SHOCK TO LONDON, NOCTURNE. He is co-author and solo performer of BENT COMPASS, originally produced by the Weidner Center. For more information: www.neilbrookshire.com
Torrey is excited to be making his Milwaukee Chamber Theatre debut. Chicago credits include Dance Nation (Steppenwolf), BLIND DATE (Goodman); PERICLES, JULIUS CAESAR, THE MADNESS OF GEORGE III, ELIZABETH REX (Chicago Shakespeare); ARCADIA (Writer’s); THE NUTCRACKER (The House); A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Drury Lane); COCK (Profiles); PAULUS (Silk Road Rising ); LANGUAGE ARCHIVE (Piven); SPOON RIVER (Provision). Regionally: Milwaukee Repertory Theater (17 seasons), Oregon Shakespeare Festival (5 seasons), Utah Shakespeare Festival, Alley Theater, Cleveland Play House, Indiana Repertory Theater, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Intiman Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Empty Space Theatre. Television/Film: Candyman, Fargo, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Detroiters, The Exorcist, Empire, Crisis, Cheers, Wings. Upcoming: Shining Girls (Apple Plus) South Side (HBO).
Hannah earned her BA in Theatre Arts from the University of WisconsinParkside. Following her undergrad, she received further training at Milwaukee Repertory Theater as part of their Emerging Professional Residency program. Hannah is thrilled to be back at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, where she was last seen in NO WAKE. Additional theatre credits include Milwaukee Repertory Theater (JUNK, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, REP LAB), Shakespeare Project of Chicago (MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING), and understudying at American Players Theatre (A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2). Commercial and voice over credits: Motorola, MaxiCosi, Snap-On, Casey’s General Store, and Johnson Controls. www.hannahshay.art
THE THANKSGIVING PLAY premieres at MCT for a live in-person production since premiering virtually in the 2020-2021 season. THE THANKSGIVING PLAY runs from November 19th until December 19th. Friday, November 19th Preview is at 7:30pm, and 8pm on Opening Night, Saturday, November 20th. Tickets can be purchased by calling 414-291-7800 or ordering online at www.milwaukeechambertheatre.org/tickets. More information about MCT, it’s 21/22 season, how to purchase tickets, and how to donate can be found at www.milwaukeechambertheatre.org. For Talk Theatre, ViewPoints and TalkBack dates visit https://www.milwaukeechambertheatre.org/continuing-the-conversation.
COVID AND ATTENDEE EXPERIENCE
The health and safety of our artists, staff, and patrons is extremely important to us. That is why we have joined dozens of other local cultural organizations in requiring all audience members ages 12 and older be either fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your performance date, presented with a matching photo ID. Additionally, masks will be required inside the Broadway Theatre Center at all times. For full details of our health and safety plan, go to https://www.milwaukeechambertheatre.org/safety
ABOUT MILWAUKEE CHAMBER THEATRE
Founded in 1975 by Montgomery Davis and Ruth Schudson, guided until 2020 by Michael Wright and Kirsten Finn, and now led by Brent Hazelton and Amy A. Salat, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (MCT) partners with other arts organizations, community-based organizations, and universities to produce thought-provoking productions and innovative outreach programs on an intimate, human scale. As a leader in developing Milwaukee and Wisconsin’s theater community, MCT provides regular employment and a stable artistic home to local theatre professionals through a five-play subscription season, the Young Playwrights Festival (YPF), and the Montgomery Davis Play Development Series (MDPDS). MCT performs at the Broadway Theatre Center in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward and is a proud Member Group of the United Performing Arts Fund. For more information, to purchase tickets, or to make a donation please visit milwaukeechambertheatre.org. We welcome people of all races, all religions, all genders, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, and all abilities. We welcome everyone. We stand with all those who feel unheard or silenced, and we will ensure this is a safe place for all who enter. MCT recognizes that we gather on traditional homeland of the Kickapoo, Menominee, Peoria, Potawatomi, Miami, and Lakota peoples, and serve a community where members of The Wisconsin’s sovereign Miami, Anishinabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Mohican nations remain present.