A film still from ‘The Humans.’ (A24/YouTube)
This Thanksgiving, escape the usual family drama and spend time with the Blakes. Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play The Humans is being adapted to the silver screen and will come to theaters (and Showtime) for Turkey Day, the centerpiece and holiday celebrated in this haunting drama. Get a taste of the stuffing and action in the new trailer, just dropped by indie-film production company A24.
The Humans debuted Off-Broadway at Roundabout Theatre Company in 2015 before transferring to Broadway’s Schoenfeld Theatre in 2016. That year it won the Tony Award for Best Play along with Best Featured Actor in a Play (Reed Birney), Best Featured Actress in a Play (Jayne Houdyshell), and Best Scenic Design of a Play (David Zinn). The play was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In addition to Briney and Houdyshell, the original cast featured Cassie Beck, Lauren Klein, Arian Moayed, and Sarah Steele, and Joe Mantello directed the production.
Now, Houdyshell (who will be in The Music Man revival) returns for the film adaptation that also stars Academy Award nominees Richard Jenkins (as patriarch Erik), June Squibb (as grandma Momo), and Steven Yeun (as Aimee’s boyfriend Richard). Rounding out the cast are Beanie Feldstein and Amy Schumer, who play sisters Brigid and Aimee. Karam wrote and directed this adaptation, which had its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2021.
At Thanksgiving, the Blake family gathers at the dilapidated Chinatown apartment of Brigid Blake and her boyfriend, Richard. Brigid’s parents, Erik and Deirdre, come visit from their home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to celebrate the holiday with Brigid, Richard, and Aimee, Brigid’s older and more successful sister. Brigid is a musician and Aimee is a lawyer living in Philadelphia who recently broke up with her girlfriend. Also present is Erik’s mother, Fiona “Momo,” who has Alzheimer’s disease. The drama traces what it means to be a modern American family within the quickly disappearing middle class.