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Kicks Off 16
th Season for Dezart Performs of Palm Springs
November 3 – 12

FastHorse is the first Native American playwright
to have a show produced on Broadway

18 September 2023 – Palm Springs, CA: Four well-intentioned but terminally “woke” theatre artists meet in the rehearsal room at an elementary school to create a pageant that will somehow celebrate both Turkey Day and honor Native American Heritage Month.  What could go wrong? The question should probably be a statement of “nothing goes right” in THE THANKSGIVING PLAY by Larissa FastHorse which opens Dezart Performs 16th Season, November 3 – 12. FastHorse (Sicangu Lakota Nation) is the first Native American woman to have a show produced on Broadway.

“Whether you lean blue, red or somewhere closer to purple, you can’t help but see a little of ourselves in this fiercely funny comedy,” says director and Dezart Performs founding artistic director Michael Shaw. “It should leave everyone, at the very least, re-examining our good intentions, but also very sore from all the self-reflective laughter it inspires.”

“If everybody loved my work, I’d be really bummed out because I wouldn’t feel like I’m doing my job right,” said FastHorse in an interview. “To acknowledge indigenous culture and history in this nation, we have to acknowledge complicity. You’re on stolen land, however you got here.”

Working through such “complicity” is at the heart of THE THANKSGIVING PLAY with hilarious, and often very tongue-in-cheek pointed jabs at our current “PC washing” of culture and the preponderous of “wokeness” in the political realm.

“Oh my Goddess,” screams the vegan director Logan (Macy Idzakovich) when she learns of her erroneous assumption about the actress, Alicia (Stepania Gonzales) who has been brought in from LA to perform in the pageant. Logan is already on tender hooks with the school’s parents for her direction of “The Iceman Cometh” with 15-year-olds. Vegan ally and yoga guru street performer Jaxton (Matthew Grondin) – who nonetheless prefers real cheese from a cow on his crackers – and would-be playwright Caden (John Wuchte) do their best in an attempt to create a politically sensitive holiday play They end up with a story that is anything but sensitive and does perhaps more damage than good to the history they are trying to correct. 

All performances take place at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club) 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs. Ticket prices are $48 – $55 and may be purchased online at , or by calling (760) 322-0179. Showtimes are Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm and 7pm.

Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley.

16th Dezart Performs’ Season Listing


A comedy written by Larissa FastHorse

Directed by Michael Shaw
November 3-5; 10-12, 2023

Good intentions collide with absurd assumptions in Larissa FastHorse’s wickedly funny satire, as a troupe of terminally “woke” teaching artists scrambles to create a pageant that somehow manages to celebrate both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month.

“Hilarious. A cheerfully cutthroat production!”

The New York Times

“Hysterically funny and brutally on target.”

– Forbes

“A hilarious envelope in which [the playwright] delivers a brutal satire about mythmaking, and thus, in a way, about theater itself.”

The New York Times

Top left woman:  Macy Idzakovich
Top right man:  Matthew Grondin
bottom left man:  John Wuchte
bottom right woman:  Stepania Gonzales
Top left: Macy Idzakovich Top right: Matthew Grondin
Bottom left: John Wuchte Bottom right: Stepania Gonzales

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A dramatic comedy written by Heidi Schreck

Directed by Craig Wells
January 19 – 21; 26 – 28

2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist

2019 Tony Award nominated, Best Play

2019 Obie award for Best New American Play

2019 Off-Broadway Alliance Award, Best New Play
2019 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Play

Fifteen-year-old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives.

“…brilliantly crafted show, harrowing and funny and humane, that accesses the political through the deeply personal.”

– New York Magazine

“A highly entertaining, deeply informative and ultimately hopeful examination of the document that impacts every single one of us, every single day of our lives.”

–Chicago Sun Times

“This funny, tragic and deeply unsettling one-woman tour de force shows who the US constitution serve — and who it lets down.”
– The Guardian

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A drama written by Samuel D. Hunter

Directed by Michael Shaw
March 1-3; 8-10

2022 Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play

A CASE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD unfolds in a cubicle where two seated people unexpectedly choose to bring one another into their fragile worlds. Keith, a mortgage broker, and Ryan, a yogurt plant worker seeking to buy a plot of land that belonged to his family many decades ago, realize they share a “specific kind of sadness.” At this desk in the middle of America, loan talk opens up into a discussion about the chokehold of financial insecurity and a bond over the precariousness of parenthood. With humor, empathy and wrenching honesty, Hunter commingles two lives and deftly bridges disparate experiences of marginality.

“Must-see heartbreaker of a play!”

– The New York Times

“Another extraordinary play by Samuel D. Hunter!”

– New York Stage Review

“Easily one of the best of the year!”

–The Wall Street Journal

“…one of the most moving new plays of the year!”

– TheatreMania

“‘A Case for the Existence of God’ Finds What Connects Us All and Holiness in Humanity.”

–The Observer

*    *    *


A drama written by Michael McKeever

Directed by Randy Brenner
April 12 – 14; 19 — 21

At 54 years old, Terry Parker finds himself at a crossroads in his life. After the loss of his partner of 30 years, he finds himself suddenly single and unable to adjust to a world that has moved on without him. After a night of heavy drinking, he wakes up with a 28-year-old bartender-slash-Uber-driver. These two very different people begin a tentative relationship, and what starts out as a one-night stand becomes a journey of self-discovery for a man trying to let go of the past and move forward, while dealing with the pressures of being middle-aged, gay and alone in the ever-changing landscape of today’s America.

“A very intelligent, absorbing look at contemporary relationships and the conflicts that keep us all from aging with joy and peace of mind. This play is a real discovery!”

– Rex Reed

“The protagonist of this new play by Michael McKeever steps gingerly out of grief’s stasis and into the unknown.”
–The New York Times