Thursday, April 11, 2024

Chicago premiere of THE THANKSGIVING PLAY Via Steppenwolf Theatre April 25 – June 2, 2024

 ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar

Steppenwolf Theatre continues its 48th Season with 

the Chicago premiere of  


By Larissa FastHorse

Directed by Jess McLeod

Featuring ensemble members Audrey Francis and Tim Hopper

with Paloma Nozicka and Nate Santana

April 25 – June 2, 2024 in Steppenwolf’s Ensemble Theater

Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the nation’s premier ensemble theater company, is pleased to continue its 48th season with the Chicago premiere of Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play, a biting comedy about everything right, wrong and woke in America, directed by Jess McLeod. The Thanksgiving Play will play April 25 – June 2, 2024 in Steppenwolf’s stunning in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell, 1646 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. Single tickets starting at $20 are now on sale at or the Box Office at (312) 335-1650. 

The Thanksgiving Play features ensemble members Audrey Francis (POTUS – Director, The Doppelgänger) and Tim Hopper (Downstate, Chicago, Off-Broadway & London) with Paloma Nozicka (Steppenwolf debut) and Nate Santana (Ironbound).

Four (very) well-intentioned theatre people walk into an elementary school. The work at hand: a Thanksgiving pageant that won’t ruffle any feathers. What could possibly go wrong? In MacArthur Genius Larissa Fasthorse’s skewering and satirical comedy, well, just about everything. Rambunctious, thorny and not altogether politically correct, The Thanksgiving Play serves up the hypocrisies of woke America on a big, family-style platter. Come get ya some.

The creative team includes Andrew Boyce (Scenic Design), Raquel Adorno (Costume Design), Keith Parham (Lighting Design), Tosin Olufolabi (Sound Design), R&D Choreography (Violence Design), Jyreika Guest (Intimacy Consultant), Kory Danielson (Music Director), Dillon Chitto (Engagement Curator and Cultural Consultant), Kate DeVore (Vocal Coach), Patrick Zakem (Creative Producer), Elise Hausken (Production Manager), JC Clementz, CSA (Casting), Christine D. Freeburg (Production Stage Manager) and Kathleen Barrett (Assistant Stage Manager). 

ChiIL Mama’s ChiIL Picks List: 

Adult Shows With Family Themes On Our Radar

Production Details:

Location: Steppenwolf’s Ensemble Theater in Honor of Helen Zell, 1646 N. Halsted St., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday, April 25 – Saturday, May 4, 2024

Press performance/Opening: Sunday, May 5, 2024 at 6 pm

Regular run: Tuesday, May 7 – Sunday, June 2, 2024

Curtain Times: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays and Friday at 7:30 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm & 7:30 pm; and Sundays at 3 pm. Please note: there will not be a performance on Tuesday, April 30; there will be an added 2 pm matinee performance on Wednesday, May 8; there will be no performances on Saturday, May 11 (Steppenwolf Gala); there will not be a performance on Tuesday, May 28.

Tickets: Single tickets for The Thanksgiving Play ($20 - $86) are now on sale at and the Box Office at (312) 335-1650. Steppenwolf Flex Memberships are also currently on sale: Black Card Memberships with six tickets for use any time for any production and RED Card Memberships for theatergoers under 30.

Accessible Performance Dates:

Audio-described and touch tour: Sunday, May 26 at 3 pm (1:30 pm touch tour, 3 pm curtain)

Open-captioned: Thursday, May 16 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, June 1 at 3 pm

ASL-interpreted: Friday, May 24 at 7:30 pm

Artist Biographies:

Larissa FastHorse (Playwright, Sicangu Lakota Nation) is an award-winning writer and 2020-2025 MacArthur Fellow. Her 2023 productions are The Thanksgiving Play (Second Stage at the Helen Hayes), Wicoun (Cornerstone Theater Company), Democracy Project (Federal Hall), Fake It Until You Make It (CTG Mark Taper Forum), For the People (Guthrie) and the national tour of Peter Pan (Networks). Selected past productions include What Would Crazy Horse Do? (KCRep), Landless and Cow Pie Bingo (AlterTheater), Average Family (Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis), Urban Rez and Native Nation (Cornerstone Theater Company), as well as numerous productions of The Thanksgiving Play, making it one of the most produced plays in America.

Jess McLeod (Director) is a director and social justice advocate specializing in risky new work about America. Steppenwolf: Venus. Chicago: Resident Director, Hamilton; Wolf Play, Hang Man (The Gift); Earth To Kenzie (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Do You Feel Anger?, Fulfillment Center (A Red Orchid); Landladies (Northlight); How We Got On (Haven), Short Shakes! Midsummer (CST), Marry Me A Little (Porchlight). Regional: Radical (IAMA); There’s Always The Hudson (Woolly Mammoth); Pride And Prejudice (Long Wharf), The Great Khan (San Diego Rep); Hype Man (Actors Theatre of Louisville). Jess has developed new plays and musicals at Roundabout, the Atlantic Theatre Company, the O’Neill, Williamstown and Berkeley Rep Ground Floor. She is an NYCLU/Creatives Rebuild Artist-In-Residence; Woolly Mammoth’s BOLD Resident Director; and Co-Chair, with Michael Korie, of the Dramatists Guild Foundation Musical Theatre Fellows Program.

Audrey Francis (Logan) serves as Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Theatre, alongside Glenn Davis, where she has been an Ensemble member since 2017. She is an actor, director, educator and coach. Most recently, Audrey directed POTUS in Steppenwolf's 2023/24 season. Steppenwolf performing credits include The Herd, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Fundamentals, The Doppelgänger (an international farce) and Dance Nation. TV credits include Justified: City Primeval, Chicago Med, Chicago Fire and Empire. Film credits include Perpetrator, Knives and Skin, Later Days and Distant Learners. She has taught acting in New York, LA, Toronto, Sydney and Melbourne, as well as at The University of Chicago and The Theatre School at DePaul. Audrey is a professional acting coach for Showtime, NBC, Fox and Amazon, and is the co-founder of Black Box Acting.

Tim Hopper (Caden) is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble. Recent roles at Steppenwolf include Andy in Downstate, which traveled to the National Theatre in London, and to Playwrights Horizons in New York. He also appeared at the Goodman Theatre in the title role of Uncle Vanya. Television appearances include Chicago Fire, the Amazon series Utopia, Fargo, The Americans, The Exorcist, Empire and Chicago Med. Film appearances include Perpetrator; Knives and Skin, School of Rock and To Die For, among others. Recipient of the 2018 Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship. Broadway: Present Laughter. Off-Broadway: New York Theatre Workshop, Theatre for a New Audience, Vineyard Theatre and the Atlantic Theater. Regionally, at Long Wharf; Williamstown and La Jolla Playhouse. Internationally, the Edinburgh Festival and Antwerp's De Singel Theatre.

Paloma Nozicka (Alicia) makes her Steppenwolf Theatre Company debut. Chicago (selected): Teddy Ferrara (Goodman Theatre); Native Gardens (Victory Gardens Theater); The Harvest (Griffin Theatre); In the Canyon, The Light Fantastic, Exit Strategy, Long Way Go Down (Jackalope Theatre Company). Regional: Citizen Detective (Geffen Playhouse); Boeing Boeing (TheatreSquared). Television: The Irrational, Chicago Med, Proven Innocent, Chicago PD, Empire. Nozicka was a 2023 Jeff Awards nominee for "Best New Work" for her play Enough to Let the Light In, and she is a playwright with the 2023/24 Geffen Playhouse Writer's Room. @palomiiiiiiita

Nate Santana (Jaxton) Steppenwolf: Ironbound. Chicago: Golden Boy, Balm in Gilead (Griffin Theatre); The Abuelas, White Tie Ball (Teatro Vista); Georgiana and Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley, The Legend of Georgia McBride (Northlight Theatre); Regional: Frankenstein, Sense and Sensibility (Indiana Repertory Theatre); References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (The Phoenix Theatre). Television: Chicago P.D., Suits, The Exorcist and Chicago Med.


As a commitment to make the Steppenwolf experience accessible to everyone, performances featuring American Sign Language Interpretation, Open Captioning and Audio Description are offered during the run of each STC production (see dates above). Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are available for every performance and all our spaces are equipped with an induction hearing loop. Our building features wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, push-button entrances, a courtesy wheelchair and all-gender restrooms, with accessible counter and table spaces at our bars. For additional information regarding accessibility, visit or e-mail

Sponsor Information

The Thanksgiving Play is supported in part by Conagra Brands Foundation. United Airlines is the Official and Exclusive Airline of Steppenwolf. Steppenwolf is also grateful for the significant season support from lead sponsors Allstate Insurance Company, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, Caroline and Keating Crown, Good Chaos, Joyce Foundation, Lefkofsky Family Foundation, Ron and Paula Mallicoat, Northern Trust, Anne and Don Phillips, John Hart and Carol Prins, Robert Rivkin and Cindy Moelis, Shubert Foundation, Inc, Walder Foundation, and Zell Family Foundation. Steppenwolf also acknowledges generous support from premier sponsors Anonymous, ArentFox Schiff, Andrew and Amy Bluhm, Michael and Cathy Brennan, Ann and Richard Carr, Chicago Community Trust, Steven and Nancy Crown,  CRC Group, Rich and Margery Feitler, Julius Frankel Foundation, FROST CHICAGO, Goldman Sachs, Shmaila Tahir and Asheesh Goel, Bob and Amy Greenebaum, Kirkland & Ellis, Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Christopher and Eileen Murphy, The Orlebeke Foundation, PNC, Polk Bros. Foundation, Bryan Traubert and Penny Pritzker, Sacks Family Foundation, Smart Family Foundation of Illinois, Gary Sinise Foundation, Elliot A. Stultz, and Vinci Restaurant. Steppenwolf also acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. This project is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premiere Ensemble Theater with 49 members who are among the top actors, playwrights and directors in the field. Thrilling, powerful, groundbreaking productions - from Balm in Gilead and Grapes of Wrath to August: Osage County, Downstate and The Brother/Sister Plays - have made this theatre legendary. Founded in 1976, Steppenwolf started as a group of teens performing in the basement of a church. Today, the company's artistic force remains rooted in the original vision of its founders: an artist-driven theatre, whose vitality is defined by its appetite for bold and innovative work. Every aspect of Steppenwolf is rooted in its Ensemble ethos, from the intergenerational artistic programming to the multi-genre performance series LookOut, to the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf Education and Engagement which serves nearly 15,000 teens annually. While grounded in the Chicago community, more than 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Steppenwolf also holds accolades that include the National Medal of Arts, 12 Tony Awards, and more. Led by Artistic Directors Glenn Davis and Audrey Francis, Executive Director Brooke Flanagan and Board of Trustees Chair, Keating Crown - Steppenwolf continually redefines the landscape of acting and performance.

Steppenwolf’s Mission: Steppenwolf strives to create thrilling, courageous and provocative art in a thoughtful and inclusive environment. We succeed when we disrupt your routine with experiences that spark curiosity, empathy and joy. We invite you to join our ensemble as we navigate, together, our complex world.,, and


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