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The SWFL premiere of “The Thanksgiving Play” opens on November 4th at The Laboratory Theater of Florida.

FORT MYERS, FL (October 17, 2022) –  The Laboratory Theater of Florida will present the southwest Florida premiere of Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play on November 4th. The comedy runs until November 20th.

Playwright Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, and The Thanksgiving Play will open at the Hayes Theater on Broadway in spring 2023.

The Thanksgiving Play explores a group of white teachers who enthusiastically plan to create a respectful and politically correct Thanksgiving play for their schoolchildren. After winning a grant to hire a Native American actress,  mayhem and hilarity ensue when the actress turns out to be a white lady with a tan.

Artistic Director Annette Trossbach says, “this satire is razor-sharp, serving up comedic moment after moment about traditional elementary school Thanksgiving plays and the whitewashed United States history that informs them, as well as the well-meaning but terribly lost teachers behind the whole endeavor. Audiences young and old will laugh along because, at its heart, it’s all true.”

Director Madelaine Weymouth says, “I love when I have no idea where a play will go next. The Thanksgiving Play is full of those surprises. You widen your eyes at Larissa FastHorse’s audacity, and then you’re giggling behind your hand, not sure if you should be laughing at all, until you’re laughing out loud. Everyone gets lampooned in The Thanksgiving Play. FastHorse shows us the politics of teachers and small-time theater through a funhouse mirror and makes it feel ridiculous and natural at the same time. It’s got it all: physical gags, strong jokes, sleeper lines that you only realize are funny after you’ve thought about it for a second. It’s one of those shows that leaves you guessing how it could possibly end… and when FastHorse delivers you there, you think, oh, of course! in a way that’s true to satire.”

The Thanksgiving Play features Stacy Stauffer (Logan), Ryan Adair (Jaxton), Kassidy Renee (Alicia), and Andrew Sarkozy (Caden).

“The familiar, whitewashed story of Pilgrims and Native Americans chowing down together gets a delicious roasting from expert farceurs.” – NY Times.

Arlene Foreman generously sponsors The Thanksgiving Play.


Performance dates::

November 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19 at 8 pm.

November 6, 13, 19, and 20 at 2 pm.

Special Events:

Half-price preview nights: November 2 and 3 at 8 pm

Staging Teen Success Through Theater: November 5 at 8 pm

Post-performance talkback: November 13

Tickets are $30 each or $10 for students with valid student IDs. There are half-priced previews on November 2nd and 3rd at 8 pm and a new Thursday night special ticket price of $25 each for adults. For tickets, please call the box office at 239.218.0481 or online at



****While masks are encouraged, they are not currently required****

Photography and videography of this production are strictly prohibited.

Thank you for your cooperation and your support of The Laboratory Theater of Florida.



The Laboratory Theater of Florida, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the promotion of the performing arts, through live performance, education, community outreach, experimentation, and the development of ensemble work. The company features ensemble productions, produces classic works, takes artistic risks, which both feature and challenge local performers. For more information, visit or the physical location at 1634 Woodford Avenue, in the Fort Myers River District.

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