Artistic Director Gregory Boyd announces the cast and creative team for Robert Askins' Tony-nominated play Hand to God, which opens the 2016-2017 Season on August 19 in the Neuhaus Theatre. A smashing success on Broadway and now in London, this fast-paced dark comedy is the Texas playwright's Alley debut. Hand to God is directed by Mark Shanahan and features Alley Company members. Tickets are on sale now at www.alleytheatre.org.
"Hand to God is a serious comedy that marries outrageousness with real depth of feeling and a did-he-really-just-say-that hilarity. It's exhilarating and alarming - angry and unsettling - and painful and ultimately moving. We are all thrilled to be making a production of Texas playwright Robert Askins' play and of celebrating his Alley debut and of welcoming this Cypress native back 'home'," said Boyd.
In Hand to God, The Devil is lurking in a church basement puppet show 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, 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 what it means to be human.
The Hand to God cast features Steve Pacek (Arden Theatre: The Secret Garden, Metamorphoses) as Jason, Michael Brusasco (Spider's Web, All the Way) as Pastor Greg, and Alley Company members Elizabeth Bunch (Grounded, Born Yesterday ) as Jason's mom Margery; Emily Trask (One Man, Two Guvnors, Around the World in 80 Days) as youth group member Jessica; and Jay Sullivan (Born Yesterday, Around the World in 80 Days) as youth group member Timothy.
Hand to God is directed by Mark Shanahan, who recently directed the Alley's production of Around the World in 80 Days, and co-directed Sherlock Holmes and The Adventure of the Suicide Club. Shanahan has also performed in Alley productions of The Hollow, Harvey, Treasure Island, Tryst, Hitchcock Blonde, Witness for the Prosecution, and Journey's End.
Robert Askins was born in Cypress, Texas. His Tony-nominated, Obie Award-winning play Hand to God recently ran on London's West End (Olivier nominated for Best New Comedy) after it opened on Broadway in April 2015, following two critically-acclaimed runs at EnsembleStudio Theatre and MCC Theater, where it was named a NY Times Critics' Pick and called "the most entertaining show of 2014." Askins is an I-73 and Youngblood alum and a graduate of Baylor University. He's currently at work on two feature film projects and an original comedy series for HBO.
The play features scenic design by Kevin Rigdon (The Nether, As You Like It), with costume design by David C. Woolard (Toxic Avenger; Broadway: Dames at Sea), lighting design by Paul Whitaker (Grounded, Other Desert Cities), and sound design by David Budries (Broadway: Souvenir).
Hand to God begins preview performances at the Alley Theatre on August 19, opens August 24, and continues through September 18, 2016 in the Neuhaus Theatre. Hand to God contains explicit language, profanity, sexual situations, and very rude puppets. Mature audiences only.
Tickets to Hand to God are on sale now and start at $26. Discounted tickets are available or any student, regardless of age, with a valid student ID for $16 for designated performances in designated sections. Tickets can be ordered online (alleytheatre.org) or by phone (713.220.5700). Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.