TCG Books’ First Fridays: Featuring Larissa FastHorse and Michael John Garcés

By Erica Ortiz posted 06-30-2021 14:04

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2021 || CONTACTS: Corinna Schulenburg | | 212-609-5941

Theatre Communications Group Presents TCG Books’ First Fridays:
Featuring Larissa FastHorse and Michael John Garcés

Event fifth in a series of conversations with TCG Books’ authors on Facebook Live

New York, NY –
  Theatre Communications Group (TCG) is pleased to announce the fifth iteration of TCG Books’ First Fridays, featuring Larissa FastHorse (The Thanksgiving Play / What Would Crazy Horse Do?) in conversation on Facebook Live, Friday, July 2, 2021 at 7:00pm ET. TCG Books’ First Fridays series features authors from TCG Books’ roster in conversation about their work on the first Friday of every month. These conversations are livestreamed on TCG and American Theatre’s Facebook pages, as well as TCG’s YouTube. Larissa FastHorse will be in conversation with Michael John Garcés, artistic director of Cornerstone Theater Company, who directed FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, Urban Rez, and Native Nation. 

The inaugural event, held on February 5, 2021, featured Michael R. Jackson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Strange Loop, and the archived video can be found here. The second event was held on March 5, 2021 and featured Dael Orlandersmith, author of Until the Flood, and the archived video can be found here. The third event, which was to feature playwright Young Jean Lee, was reimagined to respond to the rise in Anti-Asian violence by featuring Asian and Pacific Islander artists and organizers, including Young Jean. That event was held on April 2 and can be found here. The fourth event, available here, featured Heidi Schrek, author of What the Constitution Means to Me, in conversation with Paula Vogel, and was presented in partnership with The Center for Fiction. 

“Larissa FastHorse isn’t just an extraordinary playwright--though she most certainly is that--but also a former TCG board member whose impact on TCG and the field is deep and wide-ranging,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director and CEO, TCG. “Her work affirms TCG Books’ belief that plays are literature, deserving of the same care and attention as novels, poetry, and other forms of the written word. We’re thrilled to host Larissa in conversation with Michael John Garcés, another visionary artist with whom TCG has had a long and important relationship.”

Larissa FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, award winning writer/choreographer, and co-founder of Indigenous Direction, the nation’s leading consulting company for Indigenous arts and audiences.  Her satirical comedy, The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons/Geffen Playhouse), is one of the top ten most produced plays in America this season.  She is the first Native American playwright in the history of American theater on that list.  Additional produced plays include What Would Crazy Horse Do? (KCRep), Landless and Cow Pie Bingo (AlterTheater), Average Family (Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis), Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation (Native Voices at the Autry), Vanishing Point (Eagle Project), and Cherokee Family Reunion (Mountainside Theater).

“FastHorse combines a keen sense of satire and facility with dramatic forms in plays that are funny, incisive, and, at times, deeply unsettling for audiences faced with the realities of Native Americans' experience in the United States.” —Macarthur Foundation

“Satire doesn’t get much richer… A takedown of white American mythology… The familiar, whitewashed story of Pilgrims and Native Americans chowing down together gets a delicious roasting.”
—Jesse Green, New York Times on The Thanksgiving Play

Michael John Garcés is the artistic director of Cornerstone Theater Company, where he most recently directed Highland Park is Here by Mark Valdez.  Collaborations with Larissa FastHorse include Cornerstone's productions of Native Nation (commissioned and presented by ASU Gammage) and Urban Rez; the development of the upcoming The D/N/Lakota Project; and The Thanksgiving Play at The Geffen Playhouse.  Upcoming projects include The Rivers Don't Know by James McManus (City Theatre Company in association with Cornerstone) and a commission to write a new play for Theatre Horizon, Our Norristown, to be directed by Nell Bang-Jensen.  Other directing credits include Seize the King by Will Power (The Alliance); The Royale by Marco Ramirez (Arizona Theatre Company); Epic by Ellen Struve (The Great Plains Theatre Commons); Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Daniel Bernard Roumain's the just and the blind, (Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center); and Wrestling Jerusalem by Aaron Davidman (Intersection for the Arts,The Guthrie Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company).  Michael is a recipient of the 2020 Doris Duke Artist Award, the Princess Grace Statue, and the Alan Schneider Director Award.  He is a proud alumnus of New Dramatists. He serves as first vice president of the executive board of SDC, the theatrical union for stage directors and choreographers.

About the plays: In The Thanksgiving Play, a group of well-intentioned white teaching artists scramble to create an ambitious "woke" Thanksgiving pageant. Despite their eager efforts to put on the most culturally sensitive show possible, it quickly becomes clear that even those with good intentions can be undone by their own blind spots. What Would Crazy Horse Do? follows twins Calvin and Journey, the last two members of the Marahotah tribe, who make a suicide pact to end the Marahotah when the grandfather who raised them dies. Then two white strangers knock on their door and the insular world of the twins is ripped wide open.

TCG Books is the largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature in North America, with 18 winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama on its book list. The book program commits to the life-long career of its playwrights, keeping all of their plays in print. TCG Books’ authors include: Annie Baker, Nilo Cruz, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Larissa FastHorse, Athol Fugard, Quiara Alegría Hudes, David Henry Hwang, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Tony Kushner, Young Jean Lee, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Sarah Ruhl, Heidi Schreck, Stephen Sondheim, Paula Vogel, and August Wilson. 

The publication of The Thanksgiving Play / What Would Crazy Horse Do? by Larissa FastHorse, through TCG’s Book Program, is made possible by Stephanie Ansin & Spencer Stewart and in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. This TCG Books’ First Fridays program is also supported by Fisher Dachs Associates along with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. 

Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for theatre, leads for a just and thriving theatre ecology. Since its founding in 1961, TCG’s constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 Member Theatres and affiliate organizations and over 7,000 Individual Members. Through its programs and services, TCG reaches over one million students, audience members, and theatre professionals each year. TCG offers networking and knowledge-building opportunities through research, communications, and events, including the annual TCG National Conference, one of the largest nationwide gatherings of theatre people; awards grants and scholarships to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and through the Global Theater Initiative, TCG's partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute. TCG is North America’s largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature, with 18 Pulitzer Prizes for Drama on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. TCG believes its vision of “a better world for theatre, and a better world because of theatre” can be achieved through individual and collective action, adaptive and responsive leadership, and equitable representation in all areas of practice. TCG is led by executive director and CEO Teresa Eyring and deputy director and COO Adrian Budhu. 

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