Hand to God
By Robert Askins
Directed by David Ivers
Main Season · Peet’s Theatre
February 3–March 26, 2017
West Coast premiere
Running time: approximately 80 minutes, plus one 15-minute intermission
Be not deceived: The devil is lurking at the Christian Puppet Ministry in Cypress, Texas. And his name is…Tyrone. He may look like an innocent sock puppet, but when he infiltrates the angst-ridden church youth group and takes possession of Jason’s arm, well, all hell breaks loose. Spectacularly foul-mouthed and wickedly scandalous, Tyrone shocks the congregation with his outrageous insinuations, exposing their deepest secrets—and teaching us all about love, grief, and what it means to be human. This fast-paced irreverent comedy is “darkly delightful,” declares the New York Times.
Robert Askins · Playwright
David Ivers · Director
Jo Winiarski · Scenic Design
Meg Neville · Costume Design
Alexander V. Nichols · Lighting Design
Joe Payne · Sound Design
Amanda Villalobos · Puppet Design
Danielle O’Dea · Fight Director
Amy Potozkin · Casting
Michael Suenkel · Stage Manager
Chris Waters · Assistant Stage Manager
Jessica Berman · Dialect Coach
Sarah Lafferty · Puppet Construction Assistant
Michael Doherty · Jason / Tyrone
David Kelly · Pastor Greg
Michael McIntire · Timothy
Laura Odeh · Margery
Carolina Sanchez · Jessica
Miraculously funny…gleefully subversive…David Ivers slyly directs this wonderfully blasphemous comedy…It’s miraculously funny, at a time when many of us need a laugh, but it’s also acutely insightful about the yearning for religion…It’s the eerie symbiotic relationship between Doherty and the puppet that transports this piece out of the realm of comedy and into something so good it’s scary…[Robert] Askins asks some incisive questions about just what constitutes human nature and why we crave a sense of order. Each actor digs into the details of the depravity at hand with unshakable seriousness, which makes it all the funnier. Ivers toggles back and forth between giggles and gore so deftly that it’s hard to catch your breath as the blasphemy bubbles over.”
Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
If you’re the kind of person for whom Avenue Q feels more like Sesame Street, who wanted more South Park in The Book of Mormon, then the West Coast premiere of Hand to God…will be manna to your foul, foul desires…In [Robert] Askins’ vision, deviance and debauchery aren’t that different from fervent piety, deep faith, the longing for purity and goodness. They’re all ardent urges, and in seeking to tame some and inflame others, the church often gets its wires crossed—a point that makes every joke, every scandalous sight gag, land with extra bite, some bites drawing gobs of blood.”
San Francisco Chronicle
Hand to God is just the spiritual exploration we deserve at this point in our sordid human existence. Imagine if the current administration reimagined Sesame Street in its own twisted, greedy, egocentric, power-mad image and you might get something like Robert Askins’ hit play…Michael Doherty brings a sweet, blinky reserve to Jason that contrasts nicely with the raunchy spewing of Tyrone, the Muppet-y creature that is slowly taking over his life and giving him an actual personality. Doherty’s whirligig performance is the spinning center of the show, and he’s terrific under the fast-paced direction of David Ivers…There’s a lot of laugh-out-loud moments in this quick 85-minute, two-act show as well as abundant gasps.”
Hand to God is a sparkling 100-minutes of comedy and calamity…What is remarkable about Hand to God is how the audience seems to view Tyrone as human, separate and apart from Jason. That’s how talented at acting and puppetry Michael Doherty is as Jason/Tyrone.”
Audiences love Hand to God
Hear what they say about this “ferociously funny” comedy. Don’t worry, we caught the spoilers for you.
Official trailer: Hand to God
Get a glimpse at the “miraculously funny” and “gleefully subversive” Tony Award-nominated play by Robert Askins.
Hand to God teaser: Episode One
What the @#$% is this about?
Hand to God teaser: Episode Two
Who the @#$% is Tyrone?
Hand to God teaser: Episode Three
@#$% Dave Ivers!
Photos courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre
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