Dramashop Stages Tony-nominated Hand to God
Hand to God, a 2011 Broadway play, serves up secrets, repression, rage, and lust.
Friday, Oct. 28
"Demon puppet comes to life."
Offering up a five-word essence for Dramashop's latest production, director Zack Flock's synopsis teasingly hints about the multi-layered, darkly comic production.
Hand to God, a 2011 Broadway play, serves up secrets, repression, rage, and lust – all within the confines of a small Texas church and its new puppet ministry.
"Dramashop aims to produce provocative contemporary theatre that isn't being done in Erie, and Hand to God fits the bill," says Flock. "It was nominated for the Tony for best play, so there's no question that it's a quality script. It's exactly the kind of work that we love to do. It's bold, it's creative, and it's something that audiences will really enjoy."
Dramashop's website offers this synopsis: "After the death of his father, meek Jason finds an outlet for his anxiety at the Christian Puppet Ministry, in the devoutly religious, relatively quiet small town of Cypress, Texas. Jason's complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door, and – most especially – his mother are thrown into upheaval when Jason's puppet, Tyrone, takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own. Hand to God explores the startlingly fragile nature of faith, morality, and the ties that bind us."
Hand to God – as the old expression implies – is about the honesty that the play seeks to reveal about others and themselves.
"Theatre should move people and make them feel. Even a play that may seem crass and 'fluffy' on the surface should have something of substance underneath," adds Flock. "I hope our audiences feel that way after they leave – that they just saw a play that made them think or feel or discover something about themselves."
He concludes, "That's what I hope with all of our productions. And of course, with this one, I hope they have a few good laughs." – Gregory Greenleaf-Knepp
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 5 // Renaissance Centre, 2nd floor, 1001 State St. // $12 online / $15 at the door ($5 with student ID) // dramashop.org