The Sierra Stages 2019 season opens with the hilariously twisted black comedy “Hand to God” by Robert Askins, playing for three weekends only from February 28 – March 16 at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City. Due to popular demand, the show has been extended one additional weekend with three shows being added: Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, March 22-23, at 8 p.m.
Nominated for five Tony Awards in 2015, “Hand to God” centers on a shy, inquisitive student named Jason, who finds an outlet for his burgeoning creativity at the Christian Puppet Ministry in the devoutly religious, relatively quiet small town of Cypress, Texas. Jason’s complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door and—most especially—his mother are thrown into further upheaval when Jason’s hand puppet Tyrone—once soft-spoken—takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own. As Tyrone’s influence over Jason steadily grows, the play explores the startlingly fragile nature of faith, morality, and the ties that bind us.
Performances of “Hand to God” are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM. In addition, there is an evening performance on Thursday, February 28, at 7:00 PM and a matinee performance on Sunday, March 10, at 2 PM. All seating is reserved for all performances. For the first two performances on February 28 and March 1, tickets are $20 for all seats. Thereafter, ticket prices are $30 (rows A-H) and $25 (rows J-O). Tickets may be purchased with no additional charge online at www.SierraStages.org and over the phone by calling Sierra Stages at 530.346.3210. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, subject to availability. $15 Student Rush tickets (under 25 with a valid student ID) are also sold at the door, subject to availability.
“We’re taking our biggest risk to date by including ‘Hand to God’ in our 2019 Season,” says Sierra Stages managing director Peter Mason. “We presented the play as a reading in 2017 as part of our Theater by the Book series, and we were extremely concerned that it would be too offensive for the community. We were surprised when the reading attracted a capacity crowd and more surprised (and pleased) when the audience leapt to their feet and cheered at the end! We immediately began discussing whether to do a full production amid our continuing concern that our regular audience members would be offended by the play’s raw language, adult and sexual situations, violence, and views on religion. We ultimately decided to do a full production of ‘Hand to God’ for several reasons: It is very funny and well-written; it is thoughtful in its exploration of how we confront and deal with grieving; it brings a younger demographic to the theater and further expands our audience; and it hugely fun for the actors and our production staff.”
“Hand to God” will be followed this summer by the legendary musical for our times “CABARET” (July 11 – August 3 at the Nevada Theatre) and this fall by the intimate revue “You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow: A Stephen Sondheim Evening” (October 3 – 26 at the Off Center Stage). For its 2019 season, Sierra Stages is offering the Sierra Stages Flex Pass, which is on sale through March 1. The Flex Pass continues a ten-year tradition of the Sierra Stages Season Pass but offers greater flexibility for audience members. For $75, Flex Pass holders receive three tickets to be used in any combination for the three shows in the 2019 Season: See all three shows, any two shows, or just one show! Sierra Stages also invites everyone to become a Sierra Stages Member with a tax-deductible donation that supports quality local theater. For more information about “Hand to God”, the 2019 Flex Pass and Sierra Stages Memberships visit www.SierraStages.org or call Sierra Stages at 530-346-3210.
WARNING: Hand to God is not for those who are easily offended by raw language, adult and sexual situations, unconventional religious themes, and violence
Content submitted by Peter Mason