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Playwright exploring the dangers of turkey and politics

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Playwright exploring the dangers of turkey and politics


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A recent study from Pew Research Center shows many people hold very negative views about politics. But politics has become a hot topic for many families, especially during the holiday seasons. 


What You Need To Know

  •  A study from Pew Research Center found Americans are more polarized compared to years past 
  •  A local playwright is exploring this issue on the theater stage
  • She hopes it will encourage more people from different political backgrounds to respect one another 

A local playwright is exploring this issue on the theater stage. 

Elaine Alexander is an award-winning writer. 

“I have been a newspaper reporter, a magazine writer and editor, a copywriter, but there is no greater thrill to me as a writer then to see wonderful, talented actors bring my words to life,” Alexander said. “The next best thing is hearing laughter from the audience from a line (I wrote). That is true bliss for me.”

Alexander wrote the play, “Thanksgiving: 2016.” It tackles the issue of politics and familial relationships during the holiday.

The play takes place in 2016, on Thanksgiving Day, just a few weeks after former U.S. President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. 

“This dramatic comedy delves into the pitfalls of making politics the main course instead of turkey. Chaos, family secrets and domestic dysfunction explode when the son of a Northeast liberal family invites his Trump-supporting, Alabama girlfriend to Thanksgiving after the 2016 presidential election,” according to a news release describing the play.

Not everyone shares the same political backgrounds in “Thanksgiving: 2016,” which leads to chaos during the holiday celebration. 

“It’s up to son Eric, a slacker law school student, to keep Brittany’s support for Trump secret from his emotionally fragile father while keeping his parent’s marriage from going up in flames along with the turkey. While laughs abound, the play provocatively examines the deep divisions between Democratic and Republican Americans and offers a powerful, yet hopeful resolution,” according to the statement.

The type of dysfunction stemming from politics seen in this play is a reality for some families. 

Alexander herself has witnessed how political differences can come between someone’s family and friends. 

“I have been to holiday gatherings with people who do not share my politics,” Alexander said. “So I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut. But in this play, nobody keeps their mouths shut about their politics and comedic chaos ensues.”

She hopes any family feuding over politics sees themselves in this play and makes an effort to show respect to each other, during and after the holiday. 

“I hope they realize that we need to see each other beyond our politics and see each other as human beings, talk to one another regardless of our political perspectives because we’re all human,” Alexander said. 

“Thanksgiving: 2016” is taking place at Charlotte’s Off Broadway Black Box in the VAPA Center, located at 700 N. Tryon Street. 

Ticket are $25.

The play is running from Nov. 9 through Nov. 19, on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. 



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