Between the Lines Studio Theatre delivers a deliciously wicked satire with its premiere of "The Thanksgiving Play" through Nov. 19 at its theater at 725 N. 15th St., Allentown.

Playwright Larissa FastHorse, a member of the Sicangu Lakota nation and the first Native American woman to have a play produced on Broadway, has written a smartly clever play about four white, well-intentioned artists who want to create a respectful and politically correct Thanksgiving play at an elementary school. As they attempt to avoid offending anyone, they encounter minefields of white privilege, historical accuracy, the lack of indigenous casting and the challenges of accurately representing Native Americans.

Veronica Bocian is fervently earnest and sincere as Logan, a stressed-out drama teacher and director of the play who hopes to create a "fully devised educational play" for the elementary students. ThanksgivingPlayrev

She is trying to redeem herself after having staged a version of "The Iceman Cometh" with a cast of high schoolers that resulted in a parents petition to have her fired.

Logan has secured several grants to stage the play, one of which requires her to hire a Native American actor. However she runs afoul when she engages LA actor Alicia who it turns out is actually white, but "plays ethnic." It is revealed that Logan was taken in by Alicias "Native American shot" that had her wearing braids and a turquoise necklace. Bocian makes Logan increasingly frantic as things keep going wrong.

Jennifer Santos oozes confidence and self-awareness as the sexy-and-she-knows-it Alicia. When Logan tries to help Alicia "recover from the false value placed on her sexuality," Alicia reveals she sees her hotness as a type of privilege, and ultimately Logan envies Alicias nonchalant acceptance of her own simplicity.

Heath Mensher is hilariously solicitous as Logans do-gooder boyfriend Jaxton, who says he is satisfied that he has achieved his childhood dream of being a street corner actor and a self-described yoga dude.

Zachary Einstein is humorously manic as Caden, a history teacher nerd and wannabe playwright who just wants to hear his scripts read out loud by someone older than a third-grader.

All four are gifted comic actors who display their physical prowess in scenes ranging from their zany improv of eating Thanksgiving dinner to Einsteins repeatedly startled response to Santos sexuallly charged posing.

In between scenes, Bill Joachim and Trish Kane Steele are a hoot as they emerge from a closet dressed variously in turkey costumes and Native American buckskin to sing questionable Thanksgiving songs and recite readings, many from published teaching plans.

The play is tightly directed by Jason Roth who manages to rein in the chaos.

In 90 minutes, "The Thanksgiving Play" delivers laughs at the expense of characters with whom most of us are familiar. And in the end, the play leaves the audience with the question, is doing nothing better than taking the risk of doing something'

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17, and 18; and 2 p.m. Nov. 19.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors.

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