THE THANKSGIVING PLAY to Kick Off Center Stage's 2016 Fall Play Lab

Center Stage has announced it has chosen The Thanksgiving Play by award-winning playwright, director, choreographer and performer Larissa Fasthorse as its Fall Play Lab to begin the 2016/17 Season. The Play Lab will be held September 16-18 at Lord Baltimore Hotel.

FastHorse was recently named a 2016 Pen Center Literary Award Winner for her play Landless. She has received the NEA Distinguished New Play Development Grant, Joe Dowling Annamaghkerrig Fellowship, AATE Distinguished Play Award, Inge Residency, Sundance/Ford Foundation Fellowship, Aurand Harris Fellowship and numerous Ford and NEA Grants. FastHorse's short play, Allies, was commissioned and filmed as part of Center Stage's My America Too project in 2015.

"Center Stage is committed to supporting the development of bold new work, and we're thrilled to have the talented Larissa Fasthorse join us this fall," said Associate Director and Director of Dramaturgy Gavin Witt. "We collaborated with her last season on a film for My America Too, and were all impressed with her approach, her theatrical voice and her process. For this Play Lab, we were looking to foster a new piece focused on American identity and the fracturing of established structures, and Larissa's writing, as a reflection of her own identity as a Native American playwright and in her broader exploration of representation, presents relevant cultural questions in thoughtful, theatrical ways."

Center Stage Play Labs support a process of workshops, readings and rewrites, essential in helping playwrights see and hear their work-as plot holes get fixed, characters get solidified, dialogue comes to life, and the play gets on its feet. Along with the script development time for playwrights, Play Labs also provide a series of public readings and audience feedback that can prove instrumental in the growth of new work. Additionally, Play Labs allow the general public to observe and participate in the process.

2016/17 Season Fall Play Lab details:

The Thanksgiving Play
By Larissa Fasthorse; Directed by Gavin Witt

A mismatched but well-meaning foursome sets out to devise a politically correct school play that can somehow sensitively celebrate both Thanksgiving and Native American Month. How can this wildly diverse quartet-separated by cultural chasms and vastly different perspectives on history-navigate a complicated, hilarious thicket of privilege, representation and of course school district regulations? The schools are waiting, and the pageant must go on. This play was developed though the Joe Dowling Annaghmakerrig Fellowship from the Guthrie and a Table/Room/Stage Finishing Commission from Artists Repertory Theatre.

When: Friday, Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Sept. 18, 2:00 p.m.

Where: Lord Baltimore Hotel*, 20 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore Md. 21201

Cost: $10 ($5 for Center Stage Members)

For more information, visit www.centerstage.org/ShowsandEvents/PlayLabs.aspx or call the Center Stage Box Office at 410.332.0033.

*Please note the new venue for this season's Fall Play Lab: "We're enormously grateful to the staff at Lord Baltimore Hotel, as they have graciously offered to host us this fall while our theater on Calvert Street wraps up its transformative renovation," added Witt.

The Play Lab series is part of a growing array of artistic initiatives in support of playwrights and new writing at Center Stage. Other programs include the Playwrights Collective, which was launched in 2015, Hot Desk and International Hot Desk residencies and the Wright-Right-Now instant play commissions.

Under the leadership of playwright, actor, and director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE (Artistic Director) and national arts leader Michael Ross (Managing Director), Center Stage is an artistically driven institution committed to engaging, entertaining, and enriching audiences through joyous and bold performance. Hailed by The Wall Street Journal as "a model of what regional theater can and should be," Center Stage has, for more than 50 years, dedicated itself to exploring new works and bringing classics to life. For more information, visit www.centerstage.org.

The Lord Baltimore Hotel is located at 20 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201 in the heart of downtown Baltimore and within walking distance to many local attractions. Recognized as one of the "Top 10 Historic Hotels" in 2015 by 10Best and as the "Best City Center Historic Hotel" by the Historic Hotels of America in 2014, the hotel towers over the Baltimore skyline at 23 stories and offers 440 new guest rooms and suites, more than 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space and dining options including The French Kitchen, LB Tavern, LB Bakery and LB Skybar. Additionally, art plays a major role in the hotel design with more than 2,500 pieces of artwork displayed throughout the building. Originally built in 1928, the hotel was purchased in 2013 and completely renovated by Rubell Hotels. The Lord Baltimore Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More information on the hotel can be found at www.lordbaltimorehotel.com.

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