Unicorn Theatre Presents HAND TO GOD

In Robert Askins' Hand to God, when sock puppet, Tyrone, takes on a wickedly funny and shockingly dangerous personality all his own, the introverted teenager, Jason, who created him finds his world turned inside out. Crude, lewd Tyrone has a knack for telling the truth Jason never could and his small Texas town and Christian puppet club will never be the same in this riotous Broadway hit comedy... Warning: Graphic puppet sex and devilish behavior (so leave the kids at home).

Critics have praised Hand to God as "a darkly delightful play... flat-out hilarious, spewing forth acid comedy" - Charles Isherwood, New York Times; "furiously funny...Askins' most impressive talent is his ability to make us laugh while juggling those big themes that make life so terrifying... and the eternal battle between your good puppet and your bad puppet" - Marilyn Stasio, Variety; and "so ridiculously raunchy, irreverent and funny it's bound to leave you sore from laughing" - Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News.

Directed by Cynthia Levin, the play features Bob Linebarger as Jason/Tyrone; Heidi Van as Margery; Marc Liby as Pastor Greg; Matthew J. Lindblom as Timmy; and Mariem Diaz as Jessica.

Hand to God is on Unicorn Theatre's Levin Stage located at 3828 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111. The show runs September 7th - October 2nd, 2016. Previews are September 7th, 8th and 9th. Opening Night is September 10th. Featured Friday pre-show events are scheduled for September 16th and 30th at 7 p.m. Talk back performances, where patrons are encouraged to stay after the show and discuss the play with the actors and director, are scheduled for September 13th, 18thand 25th.

Performances run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.If you are unable to afford a ticket, you may Pay What U Can at performances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, because we believe art is for everyone.

Tickets are now on sale. Call 816-531-PLAY (7529) EXT. 10, go online at www.UnicornTheatre.org or buy in person at the box office located at 3828 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111. Special discounts are available for seniors (65+), students, and patrons under age 30.

Cynthia Levin (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/DIRECTOR) begins her 38th season as the Producing Artistic Director with Unicorn Theatre. Over the years she has served as a director, actor, designer or producer for over 300 productions. At the Unicorn, she recently directEd Heathers (along with Missy Koonce), The Oldest Boy, Women Playing Hamlet (world premiere), Bad Jews, Grounded, Venus in Fur, My Name is Asher Lev, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Soul Collector (world premiere), Hungry (world premiere), Red, Two Jews Walk Into A War..., Distracted, Green Whales (world premiere), Miss Witherspoon, My First Time, The Clean House, Mauritius, 9 Parts of Desire, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Bat Boy: The Musical and additionally the world premieres of rightnextto me (both at the Unicorn and Geva Theatre Center, Rochester, NY), How His Bride Came to Abraham, Light:Damage, Mercy Killing, Innocent Thoughts and Jack and Jill. At Coterie Theatre, she has directed Number the Stars, And Then They Came for Me, Frankenstein, Gatherings in Graveyards (I and II), Valley Song and To Kill A Mockingbird. At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., she directed readings of The Occupants, In The Belly Of The Whale, The Friendship Of Her Thighs, The Last Pair Of Earlies, Tigers Be Still, White Devil and Loving Mother for the MFA Playwright's Workshop. Cynthia is a graduate of Park University which also awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in 2002. She is a founding board member of the National New Play Network, an organization dedicated to the development and production of new works. She has been honored with the Pinnacle Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award. She shares her home with Zia (the beagle), Dodger (the cat) and the spirit of the big red dog, Sylvia.

Bob Linebarger (JASON/TYRONE) is so excited and honored to be back at one of his absolute favorite theaters ever since he saw his first show here in college. His first and only other show at the Unicorn was Inspecting Carol. Other shows you might have seen him in around town are Big River at MTH, Chainsaw: The Musical at The Living Room, and he just got finished producing, directing and acting in a production of Matt and Ben. He would like to thank Cynthia for this wonderful opportunity and you all who make the theatre experience in Kansas City so great. Enjoy the show!!

Heidi Van (MARGERY) is thrilled to return to the Unicorn after appearing in Last Fall; In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play; and Bright Ideas. Heidi is Curator of the Fishtank Theatre where she recently starred as Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn/God directed by Jeff Church. Heidi is an actor, creator and producer of contemporary experimental Live Theatre and her original works include The Coppelia Project, The Penis Monologues, Death by Shakespeare and Heaven + Hell, an immersive theatre experience that fuses The Picture of DorIan Gray and The Fisherman and His Soul by Oscar Wilde and takes place in multiple rooms of the Fishtank (look for that every weekend in October.) Find out more at www.fishtanktheater.com.

Marc Liby (PASTOR GREG) is honored to be back at Unicorn Theatre! This marks his 22nd year in professional theatre with over 40 directing and 30 acting credits from all over the country. Recent acting credits include Oscar in The Odd Couple (Maples Rep), J.D. in Hands on a Hardbody (Unicorn Theatre), Of Mice and Men (Cincinnati Shakespeare Company), By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Unicorn Theatre), and Footloose (Starlight Theatre). All his love to Ashley - his best friend, foundation and wife; Sophia - his daughter, who reminds him what it's all about; and Smokey - the dog ... he's a really great dog.

Matthew J. Lindblom (TIMMY) Recent credits include Lupus ChronicSLE, KC Fringe; Roof of the World, KC Rep; A Charlie Brown Christmas, Coterie Theatre; Equus, The Living Room Theatre. This is his first time returning to the Unicorn's Levin Stage since playing Kev in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.

Mariem Diaz (JESSICA) is ecstatic to be returning to the Unicorn Theatre after the production of Mr. Burns, a post-electric play. Credits include: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Unicorn Theatre); And Justice for Some (Coterie Theatre); Kansas City Repertory Theatre's production of Our Town directed by David Cromer; The Audio Cart (KC Fringe Festival); The Learned Ladies directed by Theodore Swetz; the world premiere of Freedom Rider directed by Ricardo Khan; Blue Berry Hill Accord, Immeasurable Heaven, and Troilus and Cressida(UMKC Theatre). Education: BA, Gettysburg College; MFA, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The creative team for Hand to God is Tanya Brown (stage manager), Emily Swenson and Sarah White (co-scenic designers), Paul Mesner (puppet direction), Mike Horner and Elizabeth McManus (puppet design and construction), Alex Perry (lighting designer), Jae Shanks (Sound Designer), Leah Mazur (costume designer), Bret Engle (properties designer), Emily Sukolics(production assistant), Gregory Chafin (technical director), Alyson Germinder (dramaturg), Lauren Colston (production intern), and Manon Halliburton (sound board operator).

Robert Askins (PLAYWRIGHT) was born in Cypress, Texas. His hit dark comedy Hand to God opened on Broadway in April 2015, following two critically-acclaimed runs at Ensemble Studio Theatre and MCC Theater, where it was named a NYTimes Critics' Pick and called "the most entertaining show of 2014." His 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.

Founded in 1974, Unicorn Theatre enhances Kansas City by developing and producing professional, provocative new plays. We create opportunities for the advancement of emerging and established actors, directors, playwrights, designers, technicians and administrative staff. Unicorn Theatre is under the artistic and executive leadership of Producing Artistic Director Cynthia Levin, who joined the company in 1979. From a newly expanded home in the Midtown neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, the Unicorn houses two stages-The Levin Stage (formerly The Main Stage) and The Jerome Stage (added in 2008). A fully professional not-for-profit theatre, the theatre operates under agreement with Actor's Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. The Unicorn is a founding member of the National New Play Network, an alliance of not-for-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production and continued life of new plays for the American theatre; and is a constituent member of Theatre Communications Group, Inc., the national service organization for the not-for-profit professional theatre. Financial assistance for this theatre has been provided by The National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; corporate and foundation gifts; and the generous individuals throughout the community we serve.




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