(Joplin, MO) – A hilarious satire on “the woke culture of America,” Southern Theatre will present The Thanksgiving Play at 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 18 through Saturday, November 20 and at 2:30 pm on Sunday, November 21 in the Black Box Theatre at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU).
The satirical comedy centers around an effort to put on an elementary school Thanksgiving production.
“But no one can come to an agreement (on how best to do it) because everyone is trying to be too politically correct,” said Erik Wolfe, chair of the Theatre Department and director of the production.
“It was written by Native American playwright Larissa FastHorse, and it’s part of our focus on female playwrights this season,” he said.
With a cast of just four people, Wolfe said the biggest obstacle in staging The Thanksgiving Play has been that the production is very funny.
“In rehearsals, there’s a lot of laughter and talk of how to do this seriously,” he said.
The production will be entered in the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival contest. A regional representative for the competition will attend the show and give a talk to the cast and crew afterward. Performers can be nominated for the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarships through the Kennedy Center.
The Missouri Southern Theatre Department has also joined The Jubilee, a nationwide theater festival that features works created by groups who have been historically excluded – from Native American, Indigenous and First Nations artists, as well as women, non-binary and gender non-conforming artists, LGBTQIA2+ artists, deaf artists, and artists with disabilities.
“Pretty much all of our theater shows this season fall into one of those categories,” said Wolfe. “It’s about celebrating and giving voice to those artists. We’re an institutional participant and will be listed on the Jubilee Festival website.”
Tickets for The Thanksgiving Play are $15 for general admission and $10 for students, seniors, and members of the military. The Thursday performance will also be available to stream. Tickets can be purchased online at here.
Tori Cobb – freshman, Huntsville, Texas
Dalton Cobb – senior, Neosho, Missouri
Alexandria Gibson – senior, Miller, Missouri
Race Bremer – junior, Monett, Missouri
Sydney Griffin – senior, Chouteau, Oklahoma
Brianna Simpson – junior, Jasper, Missouri
Sophie Stoebel – sophomore, Joplin, Missouri
Robert Humphrey – senior, Owasso, Oklahoma
Briana Blair-Arnall – junior, Webb City, Missouri
Rory Ellington – sophomore, Joplin, Missouri
Bryan Blackburn – senior, Carterville, Missouri
Elizabeth Pomatto – senior, Osawatomie, Kansas
Zephre Green – junior, Lamar, Missouri
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