Department of Theatre

Box Office

The Thanksgiving Play

By Larissa FastHorse
Directed by Rachel Price Cooper
November 3-19, 2022

Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.

What happens when a Vegan, a street performer, and an elementary school history teacher attempt to devise a play that tells the "truth" about one of America’s most beloved, founding mythologies? The Thanksgiving Play follows a group of liberal white people as they grapple with questions of political correctness, historical accuracy, and what it means to actually be an ally to members of the Indigenous community. Native American playwright and MacArthur Genius grant recipient, Larissa FastHorse, offers up a hysterical satire about how one might represent the legacy of colonial violence when your audience is made up of school children. 

Special Event: As part of USM’s Gloria S. Duclos Convocation, “The Rivers to Which We Belong: Grounding Indigenous Presence and Sovereignty”, there will be a talkback with director Rachel Price Cooper and Shannon Epplett, Ph.D., Instructional Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State University and member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians following the November 18th performance. The talkback will focus on Indigenous representation in the arts. USM students, faculty, staff, and alumni enjoy discounted tickets to this performance!

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Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play
By Anne Washburn
Score by Michael Friedman, Lyrics by Anne Washburn
Directed by Stephen Legawiec
November 12-20, 2022

After the collapse of civilization, a group of survivors share a campfire and begin to piece together the plot of The Simpsons episode "Cape Feare" entirely from memory. Seven years later, this and other snippets of pop culture (sitcom plots, commercials, jingles, and pop songs) have become the live entertainment of a post-apocalyptic society, sincerely trying to hold onto its past. Seventy-five years later, these are the myths and legends from which new forms of performance are created.

In this apocalyptic, dark (musical!) comedy, society has been destroyed, but the creative human spirit lives on. How do we share our most important truths in a post-digital world? In Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, pop culture becomes ritual, and the mythic hero of the future just may be Bart Simpson! We guarantee you’ve never seen a play like this one. And if that’s not enough, the New York Times raves: “When was the last time you met a new play that was so smart it made your head spin?”
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Into the Woods
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by James Lapine
Directed by Elizabeth Carlson
Musical Direction by Ed Reichert
March 2-11, 2023
A Collaboration with the Osher School of Music
Sponsored by Norway Savings Bank

James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone's favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece... and a rare modern classic. The Tony Award-winning book and score are both enchanting and touching.

The story follows a Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King's Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch's curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone's wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.
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Eurydice Rising
Directed by Rachel Price Cooper and Musical Direction by Malinda Hasslett
April 4-8, 2023

The Osher School of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance present a dynamic, collaborative reimagining of one of ancient Greece’s most iconic myths. Eurydice Rising pulls from a diverse body of work surrounding Orpheus’s journey into the underworld to be reunited with his young bride. Theirs is a journey of love, loss, and creative expression that exceeds the bounds of life and death, presence and absence. At its core, the Orphic cycle is an exploration of art and music as restorative, life affirming acts, so powerful that they might reopen stories that seem to have concluded and transform death itself to an opportunity for new life. 
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