Arcade Comedy Theater presents

By Larissa FastHorse

November 19 – 21
December 2 – 5

The Pittsburgh premiere of a new satire from one of America’s leading Native American playwrights.

Artistic ambitions collide with absurd assumptions in this wickedly funny satire by award-winning playwright Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) and directed by Linda Haston.

In this hilarious critique of self-important, performative “wokeness,” we find Logan, an ego-driven teaching artist charged with creating a middle school Thanksgiving pageant that challenges stereotypes, appeases parents, and fulfills the requirements of a  Native American Heritage month grant. Helping her devise the piece is Jaxton, her failed-actor-turned-yoga-dude boyfriend Jaxton; Caden, an elementary teacher who dreams of being a playwright; and Alicia, a self-assured LA actress with a great headshot.Together, these four charge forward, tripping over feel-good American myth, the harsh reality of history, and their own absurd assumptions about the world.

FastHorse has created a comedy ripped from the classrooms of America that tackles the politics of representation in a way we can all be thankful for.  

“Behind all the big gestures, broad comedy, and hammy facial expressions is a pretty damning indictment of white allyship becoming so self-righteous that it turns into the thing it’s trying to combat. ” — Pittsburgh City Paper. Read the review

WESA FM preview: 
“Play spoofing Thanksgiving lore gets Pittsburgh premiere” 
Read More

“‘The Thanksgiving Play’ Blends Biting Satire and History at Arcade Comedy Theater.”

Read more

Performance Schedule

  • Friday, November 19 at 8PM
  • Saturday, November 20 at 8PM
  • Sunday, November 21 at 2PM
  • Thursday, December 2 at 8PM
  • Friday, December 3 at 8PM *TALKBACK*
  • Saturday, December 4 at 8PM
  • Sunday, December 5 at 2PM


$25, general admission
$20, student rush

The Thanksgiving Play: Artist Talkback, Friday Dec 3

As part of our Friday presentation of The Thanksgiving Play, audiences are invited to stay after the show for a brief talkback. Hosted by Arcade’s Manager of New Programming, Nia Johnson, and featuring director Linda Haston and special guest Sharon McCune. The talkback is free for all to attend and will begin immediately following the show.

About Sharon McCune

No stranger to the PICT stage, Ms. McCune has delighted audiences as Titania/Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Three Ghosts in A Christmas Carol (*voted 2nd City Paper’s “Best of Online Presentation”), Webinar iterations of Gertrude and Lady Macbeth; Lady Capulet in Romeo & Juliet, and Jocasta in Oedipus Rex. Her extensive experience in the classic canon and passion for education led her to her role as PICT’s first Associate Producer and Curator of the inaugural Expand the Canon series.

Ms. McCune is a mainstay of Pittsburgh theater, having performed most recently in Jay Ball’s World Premiere adaptation of An Odyssey for Quantum; ZOOM productions of TJ Parker Young’s The Inseparables (a “loose” adaptation of Dumas’ classic The Three Musketeers) and Lysistrata with the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s PlayTime series; Pittsburgh Public Theatre (*Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski’s all female The Tempest); Bricolage Production Company, The REP, and Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks as Brutus in Julius Caesar (**the first all-female cast). Regionally, Ms. McCune has worked with Barter Theater, Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati, First-Stage Milwaukee (*World Premiere of Burgess Clark’s adaptation of Island of the Blue Dolphins), Phoenix Theater (*Twelfth Night directed by Sir John Barton), Stage One, New Harmony Theater, American Players Theater, Native Voices at the Autry, Academy for New Musical Theater, Theater Neo, and the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, where she is a co-founding company member.

Her educational experience includes teaching ESL to students of all ages in China; a member of the Standarized Patient Program at the University of Pittsburgh, and an adjunct faculty member at Point Park University, teaching…Shakespeare.

About Linda Haston

She has directed and/or performed for the past 22 years with local Pittsburgh professional theatre companies here in Pittsburgh Some favorite performance roles: Jeannette in City Theatre’s 2005-2006 season opener of Crowns; Tituba, in Quantum Theatre’s and Prime Stage Theatre’s production of

The Crucible and Mrs. Dickson in Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel at City Theatre and Henry from the Club on National Tour and in Pittsburgh, 2009 as Addie in The Little Foxes and in 2013 a Citizen in Our Town at the Pittsburgh Public Theatre. She has directed and/or performed from 2008 to 2018 at Off the Wall Productions seasons the very successful plays: How I Learned to Drive, Four Dogs and a Bone and the Club which she also choreographed and performed, Baby Makes Seven, the Whale, An Accident and World Builders. She has performed her acclaimed one woman show Mother Lode written by Virginia Wall Gruenert, Artistic Director at Off the Wall Theatre Productions in Rep and in February 2018 performed it successfully Off Broadway in New York. Sojourner was her main stage directing debut with Prime Stage Theatre having last assisted directed on the production of The Diary of Anne Frank. She has performed twice with Prime Stage in past productions which include To Kill A Mockingbird. She is very excited to make her directing debut with Arcade Comedy Theater with The Thanksgiving Play and looks forward to many more collaborations.

Meet the cast

Rachael Pfennigwerth
as Logan

Matt Zierden
as Jaxton

Evelyn Hernandez
as Alicia

Matt Henderson
as Caden

Meet the creative team

Larissa FastHorse

Linda Haston

Nia Johnson
Production Manager

Maurice Redwood
Redwood Media Group

Scott Calhoon
Assistant to the Director

Dale Ray Deforest

Aaron Tarnow
Technical Director/Lighting Design

Michael Rubino
Graphic Design

Jason Clark
Sarah Wodylak
Prop Construction

Char Sedor
James Jamison

Stage Managers

The Thanksgiving Play is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, New York, NY


The Cultural District is a bustling, exciting place to be — whether it’s a street festival, Pirates game, or Hollywood film shoot, there’s always something cool happening. So give yourself a little extra time to park and get to the theater. There are is a parking garage within a block of the theater, which is only $6 for the night: Smithfield & Liberty Garage.

There are also a number of bus stops near us, as well as the Wood Street T-Station, if you’re taking public transit. Drop-off and pick-up areas are available right in front of our building.

Production Policies & Info

  • All seating is general admission, with doors opening approximately 15 minutes before curtain. Guests arriving once the show has started will be asked to wait for a break in the action before being seated, and we can’t guarantee you’ll be able to sit together. Also, this play will make very little sense if you miss the beginning, so please arrive on time.