Curious Theatre's 19th season includes puppet comedy 'Hand to God'

Hand to God
Steven Boyer in a scene from Robert Askins’ ‘Hand to God’ on Broadway. Photo by Marcus/O&M Co.)

Curious Theatre Company‘s 19th season will include one world premiere and four regional premieres, including the irreverent Broadway puppet hit Hand to God, it was announced today. It’s a raucous comedy that explores faith, grief and humanity through the eyes of a foul-mouthed, possessed Christian-ministry sock puppet named Tyrone, who teaches those around him about the urges that can drive a person to give in to their darkest desires.

Wrote Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune: “Profane, violent, sexually uncontrollable and filter-free, Tyrone is enough to give anyone automatonophobia. He makes the mouthy puppets of Avenue Q, a show that Hand to God both chats with and thoroughly repudiates, look like cuddly toys on the toddler shelves of the Disney Store.”

The season includes the continuation and completion of Curious’ second trilogy since its announced commitment to “serial storytelling.” Curious is presenting Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes’ The Elliot Plays, starting with Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, opening March 12. The newly announced 2016-17 season will include the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner, Water by the Spoonful, followed by the third chapter in the series, The Happiest Song Plays Last. That will make Curious the first theatre in the world to have completed the entire Elliot Plays cycle.

This season includes the first in a series of new plays to be commissioned by Curious: The Luckiest People, by Meredith Friedman of Chicago, a former playwright-in-residence at Curious. Her play The Firestorm, was previously presented by the Local Theatre Company in Boulder.

“I believe  these plays epitomize our commitments to professionalism, diversity and sharing the most provocative new work in the American theatre with Denver audiences,” said Producing Artistic Director Chip Walton. “These are works you won’t see anywhere else in Colorado.”

Curious’ current season continues with Sex with Strangers through Feb. 20, and finishes with Sam Gregory starring in the incendiary race drama White Guy on the Bus, opening May 14. The 19th season then begins with the following offerings. Descriptions provided by Curious Theatre Company:

Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue
By Quiara Alegría Hudes
​Sept. 3-Oct. 15
The second production of three in The Elliot Plays finds Elliot back home in Philadelphia, attempting to pick up the pieces of his life, haunted by everything he has seen and done during the Iraq War. Meanwhile, his birth mother Odessa runs an online chat room for recovery addicts, struggling to keep them alive day after day. Water by the Spoonful is a heartbreaking tale of family, community and the lengths we will go to achieve redemption.  

Hand to God
Robert Askins
Nov. 5-Dec. 17
In small-town Cypress, Texas, sweet but troubled teen Jason is coping with his father’s recent death and is forced to join his mother’s Church-led puppet group. However, things take a turn for the unexpected when Jason’s foul-mouthed, truth-spewing puppet Tyrone begins to take on a life of his own. 

The Happiest Song Plays Last
By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Jan. 14-Feb. 17, 2017
It finally looks as though things are going to work out for cousins Yaz and Elliot, when Elliot gets a big break starring in an action film and Yaz finds purpose becoming an activist in her community. However, much like real life, nothing ever works out exactly as planned. The Happiest Song Plays Last chronicles a year in the life of these two compassionate souls we have come to know so well as they conclude their quest for love, companionship and hope. Featuring live musicians that highlight and underscore this play’s Puerto Rican roots, this third chapter in The Elliot Plays series concludes a year’s worth of storytelling at Curious.

Constellations
By Nick Payne
​March 11-April 15, 2017
Scientist Marianne meets beekeeper Roland at a party. They hit it off and go out for a drink, or maybe they don’t. Maybe they fall madly in love and get married. Or maybe they end up engaged to other people. Maybe they live happily ever after, or maybe they end up as total strangers. Inspired by string theory, Constellations is a multi-dimensional love story that asks when it comes to relationships just how much is written in the stars?

The Luckiest People
By Meredith Friedman
May 6-June 16, 2017
In the days following his mother’s funeral, Richard’s elderly father Oscar wants to move in. Happily settled with his partner, Richard is less than thrilled at the prospect of living with his difficult father. Accusations fly and defenses are drawn, spiraling father and son into a heated game of finger pointing with unintended consequences. The Luckiest People touchingly explores how we navigate the Sahara of middle age – those middle decades sandwiched squarely between obligations to parents, children and spouses.

For more information, call 303-623-0524 or go to curioustheatre.org

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