VIDEO: HAND TO GOD's Playwright Robert Askins Talks of His Own Spirituality and of Emotional Healing on Just Faith
HAND TO GOD's sock puppet demon, Tyrone, may be the most foul-mouthed, blasphemous character on Broadway, but the playwright who created him, Tony nominee Robert Askins, reveals himself to be a soft-spoken, spiritual man on MSNBC's Just Faith.
Raised by a mother who, like the leading lady of his play, led a puppet ministry in Texas, Askins turned to theatre to deal emotionally with the passing of his father. He didn't find his own creative voice until watching his friends, Steven Boyer and Geneva Carr, interacting at a party and was inspired to use their chemistry in a story that related to his own spiritual upbringing. HAND TO GOD was written in ten days, with Boyer and Carr both receiving Tony nominations for the roles they inspired.
Comedy and television icon Bob Saget now plays the role of 'Pastor Greg' in the Tony Award-nominated comedy Hand to God through the production's announced closing on January 3, 2016. He joined cast members Steven Boyer, Geneva Carr, Sarah Stiles, and Michael Oberholtzer. Three-time Tony nominee Marc Kudisch, who originated the role of 'Pastor Greg', exited the production on November 1st to begin production on Baritones Unbound.
Hand to God plays at the Booth Theatre (222 West 45th Street) through January 3, 2016 before immediately transferring to London's West End, with performances beginning on February 5, 2016 at the famed Vaudeville Theatre.
Playwright Robert Askins goes for the jugular-by way of sock puppet-in his hilarious and heartbreaking new comedy Hand to God. In it, a shy teenager named Jason is surprised when his Bible School project-a puppet named Tyrone-takes on a shocking, truth-telling personality all its own, forcing everyone in its path, especially Jason's mother Margery, to confront their own demons as they search for redemption through a mix of riotous laughter and genuinely shocking twists.
Moritz von Stuelpnagel directs. The design team for Hand to God includes scenic design by Beowulf Boritt, costumes by Sydney Maresca, lighting by Jason Lyons, sound by Jill BC Du Boff, puppet design by Marte Johanne Ekhougen, and fight direction by Robert Westley.