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‘Hand to God’ raw, raunchy, irreverent and sexy – what more could you want?


Keeping up with the tradition of providing fresh new experiences for southwest Florida, The Laboratory Theater of Florida is excited to bring Robert Askins’ Hand to God to the stage. Generously sponsored by Art Zupko, the production marks the play’s Southwest Florida premiere.

Admit it. You’ve had certain…impulses, right? Ones you’ve thought about, but would never actually act upon or say out loud? It’s human nature. And that darkest human nature is exposed when a Texas church youth-group assignment to create original hand puppets goes strangely awry.

Cypress, Texas is a small, conservative, and extremely devout town. Margery is a recent widow who needs something to occupy her time, so the local pastor has asked her to run the church puppet club, whose members include her son Jason, his next-door neighbor Jessica (that Jason has a crush on), and Timmy, the neighborhood troublemaker whose mother attends support meetings at the church. The puppet club has been asked to put on a performance at the church next Sunday at the request of Pastor Greg. Jason’s hand puppet, Tyrone, takes on a life of his own, announces that he is Satan, leads them into sin, and expresses secrets that the characters would rather have left unacknowledged.

“At its heart, Hand to God is about our search for answers, connections, and comforts,” says Director Nykkie Rizley. “Yes, it is raw and raunchy, it is foul and sexy, it is violent and it is hilarious. All of this rolled into one. But, it is also soft and gentle and poignant. It slaps me in the face with humor and then pulls at my heartstrings. It is really quite an experience.”

“It’s a very irreverent show, with a scarred, earnest heart,” adds Steven Coe, who is playing the part of Jason. “It’s very personal and raw, which you’ll forget in its loud moments of fire and ridiculous humor, which was artfully and intentionally written. It’s technically impressive, it’s hardcore, it’s a great show to work on and hopefully to watch.”

This show does feature mature themes, sexual situations, and some profanity.

Hand to God opens October 18 (with a half-price preview on October 17) and runs through November 3.

October 7, 2018.

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