Dobama ends season with 'Hand to God'

Two of the "stars" of Dobama's upcoming "Hand to God."

When playwright Robert Askins was asked how he felt about having the most-produced play in U.S. regional theaters during 2016–17, he responded that he was “totally shocked [because] I think that the puppet play, especially the aggressive, religious, sexual puppet play, is just not a genre we have in the American theatre.”

Dobama Theatre will conclude its 57th Main Stage season with Askins’ popular Tony-nominated and Obie Award-winning “Hand to God,” a play about a Christian ministry in Cypress, Texas, where a possessed sock-puppet named Tyrone creates chaos. Opening on Friday, April 21, this thriller/hilarious puppet drama about the conflicting forces of repression and honesty will have audiences gasping in both shock and laughter.

“Hand to God” proved so popular when it first opened off-Broadway, in 2011, that it inspired two additional off-Broadway productions before moving to Broadway.

Not for the kids, the play includes adult language, mild violence and the depiction of puppet sex. Described by Metro Magazine, the show is what would happen “if ‘The Book of Mormon’ and ‘Avenue Q’ had a baby.”

Dobama’s production is directed by Matthew Wright, and features Tricia Bestic, David Bugher, Austin Gonser, Molly Israel and Luke Wehner. 

A preview performance will be held on Thursday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. Preview tickets are $10, general admission. A pay-as-you-can ($1 or more per ticket) performance is scheduled for Sunday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. Patrons paying $5 or more per ticket for that performance may make advance reservations.

Regular performances of  “Hand to God” will be on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday matinees, through May 21. For more information and to purchase tickets visit or call the box office at 216-932-3396. Dobama Theatre is located at 2340 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.

Dobama Theatre will announce its 2017–18 season on Saturday, April 8 at 11 a.m. This is a free event, but reservations are encouraged. Refreshments will be provided.

Jonathan Wilhelm

Jonathan Wilhelm is the associate managing director of Dobama Theatre.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 5:44 PM, 03.30.2017