Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere

From January 6 to February 4, 2017, SpeakEasy Stage Company will present the New England Premiere of HAND TO GOD, The Devilishly smart new comedy about good and evil, sex and sin, written by Robert Askins. BroadwayWorld has a sneak peek at the company in rehearsal below!

Described as "Sesame Street meets The Exorcist" by the New Yorker, HAND TO GOD tells the story of an awkward Texas teen named Jason, who spends his afternoons at his local church, practicing for the Christian Puppet Ministry run by his widowed mother. All hell literally breaks loose, however, when Jason's puppet Tyrone takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own. Nominated for five Tony Awards including Best Play, HAND TO GOD explores the startlingly fragile nature of faith, morality, and the ties that bind.

Like the young protagonist in his play, HAND TO GOD playwright Robert Askins grew up in a small Texas town, lost his dad at a relatively young age, and even participated in the Christian Puppet Ministry which his mother ran at the local Lutheran church. He didn't start writing plays until he got to Baylor University, which is where he met playwrights Romulus Linney and Horton Foote. These celebrated writers encouraged Mr. Askins and provided a connection to New York's Ensemble StudioTheatre, which is where, in 2011, HAND TO GOD had its premiere. In addition to his Tony nomination for HAND TO GOD, Mr. Askins has received two EST/Sloan grants, the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award, and an Arch and Bruce Davis Award for Playwriting. His most recent play Permission, had its world Premiere Off-Broadway in spring 2015 at MCC Theater.

Norton Award-winner David R. Gammons will direct HAND TO GOD for SpeakEasy. Mr. Gammons' other SpeakEasy credits include Necessary Monsters, The Whale, The Motherf**ker with the Hat (2013 Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Actress), Red (2012 Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Production and Outstanding Actor), and Blackbird. His work as a director and designer has been featured at American Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, New Repertory Theatre, Actors' Shakespeare Project, and Boston Playwrights' Theatre, among others

The cast for this New England Premiere production is MariAnna Bassham, Josephine Elwood, Eliott Purcell, Dario Ladani Sanchez, and Lewis D. Wheeler.

The design team is Cristina Todesco (scenic); Gail Astrid Buckley (costumes); Jeff Adelberg (lighting); Andrew Duncan Will (sound), and Ted Hewlitt (fight choreography).

HAND TO GOD will run for five weeks, from January 6 through February 4, 2017 in the VirginiaWimberly Theatre in the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont Street in Boston's South End.

Ticket prices start at $25, with discounts for students, seniors, and persons age 25 and under. For tickets or more information, the public is invited to call the box office at 617.933.8600 or visit www.SpeakEasyStage.com.

Photo Credit: Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots

high res photos

Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere
Dario Ladani Sanchez and Eliott Purcell

Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere
MariAnna Bassham, director David R. Gammons and Eliott Purcell

Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere
Josephine Elwood

Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere
Dario Ladani Sanchez and Eliott Purcell

Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere
Dario Ladani Sanchez and Eliott Purcell

Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere
Eliott Purcell

Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere
Dario Ladani Sanchez and Eliott Purcell

Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere
Eliott Purcell

Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere
Eliott Purcell and director David R. Gammons

Photo Flash: Inside Rehearsal for SpeakEasy's HAND TO GOD New England Premiere
Eliott Purcell

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