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Playwright Larissa FastHorse and Director Michael John Garcés in Conversation

Wed, 3/20 · 5:30 pm7:00 pm · Drapkin Studio at Lewis Arts complex

Lewis Center for the Arts; Humanities Council; Land, Language, and Art
Larissa Fasthorse. Photo credit: Conor Horgan

A conversation between Larissa FastHorse and Michael John Garcés. FastHorse is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow, award-winning playwright and choreographer, co-founder of Indigenous Direction, the nation’s leading consulting company for Indigenous arts and audiences, and a member of the Sicangu Lakota Nation. FastHorse is also a Short-Term Belknap Fellow in the Humanities Council and Lewis Center this semester. Her satirical comedy, The Thanksgiving Play, was recently included as one of the top ten most-produced plays in America, the first Native American playwright represented on that list. Michael John Garcés is a director and playwright and, until 2023, artistic director of Cornerstone Theater Company, a community-engaged ensemble in Los Angeles.

The conversation is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations required.

Cosponsored by Land, Language, and Art (LLA), a Global Initiative from the Humanities Council.


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. Larissa will be represented across the country in the 2023-2024 season with a revised book of the beloved Jerome Robbins Broadway musical, Peter Pan. She made her Broadway debut in the 2022-2023 season with her satirical comedy, The Thanksgiving Play, making her the first known female, Native playwright to be produced on Broadway (second only to Lynne Riggs in the 1930s). The Thanksgiving Play has been one of the top ten most-produced plays in America for the last two seasons. She is the first Native American playwright in the history of American theater on that list. Larissa is also one of the top 20 most-produced playwrights of last season. Additional produced plays include For The People, The Democracy Project, What Would Crazy Horse Do?, Landless and Cow Pie Bingo, Average Family, Teaching Disco Squaredancing to Our Elders: a Class Presentation, Vanishing Point and Cherokee Family Reunion. In fall 2023, Larissa was a professor of practice (literature) at Arizona State University’s Department of English.
Michael John Garcés smiles and wears dark glasses and a dark tshirt.

Michael John Garcés is a Los Angeles-based director and playwright. Directing credits include For the People by Ty Defoe and Larissa FastHorse (The Guthrie Theater), the just and the blind by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Daniel Bernard Roumain (Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center), The Play You Want by Bernardo Cubriá (The Road Theatre Company), The Rivers Don’t Know by James McManus (City Theatre), Seize the King by Will Power (The Alliance Theatre), Wrestling Jerusalem by Aaron Davidman (Intersection for the Arts, The Guthrie, Cleveland Public Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company and others), Epic by Ellen Struve (Great Plains Theatre Commons), The Thanksgiving Play by Larissa FastHorse (Geffen Playhouse) and The Royale by Marco Ramirez (Arizona Theatre Company). He has worked at many other theaters across the country. Michael is the recipient of the Doris Duke Artist Award, the Alan Schneider Director Award, the Princess Grace Statue Award, and an L.A. Artist Residency (Center Theatre Group). Michael was the artistic director of Cornerstone Theatre Company, a nationally recognized community-engaged ensemble, from 2006 to 2023. At Cornerstone he directed plays by many writers including Alison Carey, Juliette Carrillo, Naomi Iizuka, Lisa Loomer, and Mark Valdez. He was also a company member at Woolly Mammoth for several years, helming productions of plays by Luis Alfaro, Chad Beckim, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Max Frisch, Danai Gurira, and Craig Wright. He is currently a professor of practice at the Los Angeles campus of Arizona State University.


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