Meetup #27: Larissa Fasthorse’s Landless


Larissa Fasthorse’s Landless is the second production the WWSF Meetup Group has enjoyed at AlterTheater, this time in San Francisco at the second part of the show’s run at the ACT Costume Shop (our previous AlterTheater Meetup was last winter to see Marisela Treviño Orta’s The River Bride.)

Landless charts an unexpected romance between a woman, a boy, a shop, and a small town, which goes off the rails when a Native American tribe receives federal recognition.  This is Kilroys List playwright Larissa FastHorse’s first Bay Area production, and AlterTheater Artistic Director Jeanette Harrison calls her “the best – most underrated contemporary playwright I’ve ever worked with.” SF Chronicle critic Robert Hurwitt agrees: “There are moments of considerable beauty in ‘Landless’…FastHorse emerges as a writer worth keeping an eye on for the future.”

Women artists working on the production include co-directors Ann Brebner and Jeanette Harrison (the same team that directed The River Bride); Equity actors Emilie Talbot and Patricia SilverDuca Knezevic (Dramaturgy); Madeleine Oldham (Sound Design); Jan Kaprowski (Costume Design); Wiljago Cook (Graphic Design); Chiyako Nelson (Production Intern/Props Assistant); and Laura Millar (Box Office).

If you saw the production with WWSF or on your own, please leave a comment sharing your perspective!

2 responses to “Meetup #27: Larissa Fasthorse’s Landless

  1. Was very excited to finally see a show by this playwright! Loved the AlterTheater storefront aesthetic happening at the ACT Costume Shop space – the curtain open, the light and sound from the street filtering in – especially relevant for this story set in a store. It was a treat to see Patricia Silver play her character from ages 10 through 60s. Emilie Talbot’s multiple characters were well delineated. Sound design came in with exactly the right amount of mood and ambience. But most of all this poignant story was fantastic and contemporary and relevant, examining who we are when all we have is our self. I am wishing for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th production and beyond!!

  2. It was a pleasure to see a play in which a mature woman and a young man have a deep and nuanced relationship based on a soul connection. The topicality of the play was hauntingly potent – I think most of the audience shuddered when Elise (played by Patricia Silver*) wondered about how a 68-year old woman who has spent her life being a leading business-owner in her community could wind up penniless and homeless in the current economy. I also appreciated Emilie Talbot’s passionate portrayal of a character who could possibly be considered the villain of the piece, but whose willingness to take others down to save herself was also terrifyingly understandable on a gut level. We’d all like to believe we would behave better under difficult circumstances, but would we really? The join direction by Anne Brebner and Jeanette Harrison stood out for its inventive use of a tight performance space and the elegant transitions between past and present. I hope to see more work from this incisive playwright soon!

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