All hell is breaking loose at Coal Mine Theatre for the Toronto premiere of HAND TO GOD, a blasphemous puppet show written by Robert Askins, directed by Mitchell Cushman and starring Frank Cox-O’Connell, Ted Dykstra, Amy Keating, Francis Melling, and Nicole Underhay, April 21 – May 12, 2019.
In a quiet Texas town, recently widowed Margery runs the church puppet club. Her grieving teenage son finds solace in his homemade sock puppet, Tyrone. That is until Tyrone goes rogue and hijacks control of Jason. He shocks the congregation with his foul-mouthed insinuations and wild accusations. And by spinning his head around Exorcist-style! A hilarious lesson in humanity, HAND TO GOD tackles all the big themes including life, death…and crafting.
Produced on Broadway in 2015 and nominated for five Tony Awards, including for Best New Play, HAND TO GOD was the most produced play in the 2016/17 American theatre season with 13 productions staged across the country. For its Toronto premiere, Mitchell Cushman (The Aliens / Coal Mine; Jerusalem / Company Theatre with Outside the March) returns to the Coal Mine to revisit this twisted play about a satanic sock puppet, which he first directed at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in 2017.
The cast of HAND TO GOD features Frank Cox-O’Connell (Rose, Idomeneus / Soulpepper) as Jason/Tyrone; Nicole Underhay (The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs / Tarragon Theatre) as Margery; Ted Dykstra (Poison / Coal Mine, 2 Pianos, 4 Hands) as Pastor Greg; Amy Keating (Long Day’s Journey Into Night / Stratford Festival) as Jessica; and Francis Melling (Issac’s Eye / Unit 102 Actors Company) as Timothy.
The devil lurks off-off-Broadview!
COAL MINE THEATRE
presents the Toronto Premiere of
HAND TO GOD
Written by Robert Askins
Directed by Mitchell Cushman
Starring Frank Cox-O’Connell, Ted Dykstra,
Amy Keating, Francis Melling, Nicole Underhay
Set Design by Anahita Dehbonehie
Lighting Design by Nick Blais
Costume Design by Lindsay Daggar Junkin
Sound Design by Bram Geilen
Puppetry Designer/Director Marcus Jamin
Stage Manager Meghan Speakman
Production Manager Wes Babcock
ONSTAGE BLOG (APRIL 26, 2019)
“Run, beg, scream, wait, call, surf, plead to try and get a ticket to this sold out show if you can. This top notch, solid, terrific cast delivers the laughs in droves. Frank Cox-O’Connell’s dual performance as subdued Jason and possessed puppet Tyrone is a tour de force knockout.“
SLOTKIN LETTER (APRIL 25, 2019)
“It’s the kind of play that is perfect for the Coal Mine Theatre. And as usual they have found the perfect director, creative team and cast to realize it for their eager audience who all have their deep secrets too.“
JOE SZEKERES (APRIL 30, 2019)
“Coal Mine’s production allowed me to have a good laugh for the very reason I’m allowed to laugh in live theatre. A wickedly sinful 'Hand to God' that should be running longer. Try to get a ticket!“
TORONTO STAR (APRIL 25, 2019)
“Hand to God is ugly and violent and crude, but it’s also fun.“
MOONEY ON THEATRE (APRIL 25, 2019)
“Frank Cox-O’Connell turns in a command performance and he really nails the Jekyll-and-Hyde duality of the role.“