CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — A recent study from the Pew Research Center shows that many people have very negative opinions about politics. But politics has become a hot topic for many families, especially during the holiday season.
A local playwright explores this question on the theater stage.
Elaine Alexander is an award-winning writer.
“I have been a journalist, a magazine editor and editor, a copywriter, but there is no greater pleasure for me as a writer than seeing wonderful, talented actors bring my words to life” , said Alexander. “The best thing to do is to hear the audience’s laughter from a sentence (that I wrote). It’s a real joy for me.”
Alexander wrote the play “Thanksgiving: 2016.” It addresses the issue of politics and family relationships during the holidays.
The play is set in 2016 on Thanksgiving Day, just weeks after former US President Donald Trump lost to Hillary Clinton.
“This comedy-drama explores the pitfalls of making politics the main course instead of the turkey. Chaos, family secrets and domestic dysfunction explode when the son of a liberal Northeast family invites his girlfriend over. “Trump supporter Alabama on Thanksgiving after the 2016 presidential election,” according to a press release describing the play.
Not everyone shares the same political background in “Thanksgiving: 2016,” which leads to chaos during the holiday celebrations.
“It’s up to her son Eric, a slacker law student, to keep Brittany’s support for Trump a secret from his emotionally fragile father while keeping his parents’ marriage from going down in flames turkey. While laughter abounds , the play provocatively examines the deep divisions between Democratic and Republican Americans and offers a powerful yet hopeful solution,” according to the release.
The type of politically driven dysfunction seen in this play is a reality for some families.
Alexander herself witnessed the political differences that can arise between a person’s family and friends.
“I attended holiday gatherings with people who didn’t share my political views,” Alexander said. “So I’ve learned to keep quiet. But in this room, no one keeps quiet about their politics and comical chaos ensues.”
She hopes any family squabbles over politics will find their way into this room and make an effort to respect each other, during and after the holidays.
“I hope they realize that we need to see each other beyond our politics and see each other as human beings, talking to each other regardless of our political perspectives, because we are all human,” Alexander said.
“Thanksgiving: 2016” takes place in Charlotte’s Off Broadway Black Box at the VAPA Center, located at 700 N. Tryon Street.
The tickets are $25.
The play runs from November 9 to 19, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.