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Victory Gardens Extends HAND TO GOD Again Through October

Victory Gardens Theater announces the second extension of its critically-acclaimed production of Hand To God by Robert Askins, directed by Gary Griffin due to overwhelming ticket demand. Hand To God now runs through October 30, 2016, at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue.

The God-fearing children of Cypress, Texas spend their after-school hours practicing Christian Puppet Ministry at the local church. When one devout young boy discovers that his hand puppet has a life of its own, all hell breaks loose. Literally. In this hilarious and lightning-paced comedy, Tyrone, a stinging and witty satanic sock puppet soon shows the children, minister, and school bully who's really in charge.

Hand to God by Robert Askins and directed by Gary Griffin makes its Chicago premiere after thrilling audiences on Broadway and receiving a Tony nomination for Best New Play last season.

The cast of Hand to God includes Nina Ganet (Jessica), Curtis Edward Jackson (Timothy), Eric Slater (Pastor Greg), Janelle Snow (Margery) and Alex Weisman (Jason/Tyrone).

The creative team includes Joe Schermoly (Scenic Design), Janice Pytel (Costume Design), Christine Binder (Lighting Design), Chris Kriz (Original Music and Sound Design), Michael Dold (Properties Design) Daniel Dempsey (Puppet Design) and Isaac Gomez (Dramaturgy). The Production Stage Manager is Tina Jach.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Robert Askins (Playwright) was born in Cypress, Texas. His Tony-nominated, Obie Award-winning play Hand to God recently finished its run 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 Ensemble Studio Theatre and MCC Theater, where it was named a NY Times Critics' Pick and called "the most entertaining show of 2014." His newest play Permission made its world premiere off-Broadway in spring 2015 at MCC Theater. His play Fish Display was part of the 2012 Ojai Playwrights Conference and Permission was part of the 2014 conference. Rob has received two EST/Sloan grants, the Helen Merrill Emerging Playwrights Award, and an Arch and Bruce Davis Award for Playwriting. Rob 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.

Gary Griffin (Director) Victory Gardens Theater: Never the Sinner, Appropriate. London: Pacific Overtures (Donmar Warehouse, Olivier Award, Best Musical Production and Olivier Nominee, Best Director). Broadway: Honeymoon in Vegas, The Color Purple. Off-Broadway:Saved (Playwrights Horizons); The Apple Tree, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Pardon My English, The New Moon (Encores), Regional: Antony and Cleopatra, Camelot, West Side Story(Stratford Festival); work at McCarter, Alliance, Hartford Stage, Signature, Kansas City Rep., The Muny. Chicago:Road Show, Gypsy, Sunday in the Park With George, Follies,Amadeus, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); The Merry Widow, The Mikado,Oklahoma (Lyric Opera of Chicago); The Detective's Wife,Loot (Writers Theatre). Associate Artistic Director, Chicago Shakespeare Theater. 10 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Directing.

Nina Ganet (Jessica) Chicago: Mosque Alert (Silk Road Rising); Circle of Friends, The Holiday Celebration, The Revue (American Girl Theatre). Film: The Hypnotist, Chip V2, Cool Apocalypse, Henry Gamble's Birthday Party. School at Steppenwolf Graduate 2016.

Curtis Edward Jackson (Timothy) Chicago: A Splintered Soul (ARLA Productions); How the World Began (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble); Brilliant Adventures (Steep Theatre Company); Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) (Jackalope Theatre Company); Tribes, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Steppenwolf); Men Should Weep (Griffin Theatre Company); Ghost Bike (Buzz22 Chicago); Shakespeare's R&J (Idle Muse Theatre Company); Good Boys and True (Kokandy Productions). Regional: Other Desert Cities (Farmer's Alley Theatre), Richard III, Twelfth Night (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre); two national tours of Letters Home (Griffin Theatre Company). Film: The Falls: Covenant of Grace, Teacher.

Eric Slater (Pastor Greg) Chicago: Kill Floor (American Theatre Company); Dairy of Anne Frank (Writers Theatre); Feathers & Teeth, Smokefall (GoodmanTheatre); Rasheeda Speaking (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble/Ensemble Member). Off & Off-Off Broadway: Juvenal Players (The Kitchen); The Dudley's: A Family Game! (Theatre for a New City); Our Greatest Year (Kraine & The Brick); Original Cast Gloryana (The Public Theater & The York Theatre Co.). Regional: Fornicated From The Beatles (American Repertory Theatre); Experiment America (ICA Boston); Hunchback (DIA Detroit); Permanent Collection (Madison Rep.); Our Greatest Year (Dobama Theatre). Film/ TV: Coming to You, Chicago Fire.

Janelle Snow (Margery) Victory Gardens Theater: No One As Nasty, Henry Flamethrowa, IGNITION Festival. Chicago: The Crowd You're In With (Goodman Theatre); Spare Change (Steppenwolf); Always Patsy Cline (Theatre at the Center); The Trip to Bountiful, Flung (American Theatre Company); The Cherry Orchard (Strawdog Theatre); Suddenly Last Summer, The Sweetest Swing In Baseball, Rumors, Big Time (Eclipse Theatre); Only The Sound (Chicago Dramatists); Five Women Wearing The Same Dress, Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Auschwitz Lullaby, A Piece Of My Heart (Circle Theatre). Film/TV: Stage Four, Gardening at Night, The Widower, E/R, Early Edition, The Beast, Boss, Chicago Fire. Awards: Jeff, After Dark.

Alex Weisman (Jason/Tyrone) Victory Gardens Theater: Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, IGNITION Festival. Chicago: The History Boys (Jeff Award), The Normal Heart, My Name Is Asher Lev (TimeLine, Associate Artist); Tug Of War: Foreign Fire, Short Shakes: Midsummer!, Julius Caesar, The Madness of George III (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Mary, A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre); The Good Book (Court Theatre); October Sky, upcoming The Nutcracker (Marriott Lincolnshire); Peter Pan (Lookingglass Theatre); You Never Can Tell (Remy Bumppo); Ah! Wilderness (Jeff Nomination, Eclipse); The Rainmaker (Jeff Nomination), Rough Crossing (First Folio); Bent (TOTC) as well as Chicago Children's Theatre, House Theatre, Provision Theatre, Porchlight Music Theatre. Film/TV: Black Box, Scrooge & Marley, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D., Chicago Med, Empire. Stakeholder with The BackRoom Shakespeare Project.

The performance schedule through October 30, 2016 is: Wednesday - Friday at 7:30pm; Saturday at 3pm and 7:30pm; Sunday at 3:00pm. There will be a matinee performance on Wednesday, October 5 at 2 p.m. Regular performances are $15-$60. Victory Gardens will also be offering a daily mobile lottery for up to a pair of $10 tickets via the TodayTix Mobile Lottery technology.

Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000, email tickets@victorygardens.org, or visit www.victorygardens.org . Ask the Box Office about student tickets ($15), senior, and Access. For group discounts, call 872.817.9087.

Photo Credit: Liz Lauren


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