REVIEW: THE THANKSGIVING PLAY
at Curious Theatre
by Edwin Lobach
The satirical moral of Larissa FastHorse’s Thanksgiving Play is do nothing about cultural appropriation and oppression. As the characters of the high school drama department fight so hard to do something right in their Thanksgiving play, the conclusion is right back at the start of the issue.
Jaxton (John Jurcheck) really had the most to tell, and quite literally as he frequently spoke over drama teacher Logan (Emily Ebertz) and simpleminded Alicia (Adriane Leigh Robinson). Jaxton was always right to the point of the butt of the joke. A yoga dude who meditates on farmer’s markets wearing his Birkenstocks trying to make it as an actor all the while mansplaining how empathetic he feels for minorities. Similarly, nerdy Caden (Matthew Schneck) started as an endearing, aspiring playwright but once the group started criticizing his work he bastardized his integrity and wanted always the last say. Meanwhile the women shared great contrast with another. Logan first figured she could help Alicia grow as a person but later learned that perhaps Alicia has a simpler mastery all her own.
What stood out most to me was the play’s peculiar pacing. Between each scene crude skits and musical numbers were performed. It felt busy and incongruous, albeit maintaining the same dark themes and humor. All to say I still enjoyed every skit and scene. My friend and I were discussing the play for hours afterward. It’s quite a quotable play.
Certainly an appropriate choice by Curious and director Dee Covington. Thanksgiving isn’t all about sportsball and stuffed turkey. I mean, there’s also the spilled guts of the native people of this land, but hey: no guts, no story, eh?
Curious Theatre is taking back appropriation now until December 15. Information on tickets can be found at curioustheatre.org or by calling (303)623-0524.