Hand to God

An Insightful Dark Comedy…With Puppets

Story by Taylor Onski,



Superior Outdoors


Film Theatre

In 2015, Robert Askins’s Hand to God introduced theatregoers to Tyrone, a sock puppet supposedly possessed by the devil. Today, local actors are leading the performance of this five-time Tonynominated play at Magnus Theatre. Set in a Texas church basement during the early 2010s, the play follows the Christkateers, a teenage Christian puppet troupe getting ready to put on a show. Suddenly Tyrone, the handmade sock puppet belonging to 17-year-old Jason (Hudson Morash), begins spewing everything he thinks. As a result, there is a struggle between good and evil, and chaos ensues. “We try to behave a certain way and people tell us how to behave,” says production director Thom Currie. “Jason and Tyrone, by extension, come out and go ‘No—I can think what I want and say what I want.’” With 17 years of experience as a puppeteer, Currie is excited to bring this medium to Magnus, with the actors all operating their character’s respective puppets. However, these puppets are not your typical family-friendly Muppet programming. “This play is for laughs, but also explores some dark stuff. It’s a very funny physical piece of theatre with puppet-on-puppet fights, puppet-on-human fights, human-on-puppet fights, human-on-human fights, which get pretty awful,” says Currie. Returning to Magnus after her debut in Man of La Mancha, Carly Martin plays Jessica, the outspoken 17-year-old church and puppet enthusiast. Like Jessica, Martin looks forward to exploring her dual role as actor and puppeteer. “This play is something new for Thunder Bay. It will challenge the way people think about theatre with the way we integrate different forms of art such as puppeteering, acting, fights, and intimacy.” As only the third Canadian production of Hand to God, Magnus looks forward to showing audiences this unique exploration of puppet mastery and comedy as part of a season of surprises. Every time someone comes through the door, I want them to be a little knocked off-kilter and surprised,” says Currie. “With Hand to God, I’d love people to walk out with selfreflection about their inner voices and expectations, a good laugh, and think ‘Oh my god, how did they do this?’” Hand to God runs March 9–25 at Magnus Theatre. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit magnustheatre.com.