Rousuck's Review: In Studio Theatre's "Hand To God," Puppetry Has A Dark Power | WYPR

Rousuck's Review: In Studio Theatre's "Hand To God," Puppetry Has A Dark Power

Aug 22, 2016

Liam Forde as Jason and Tyrone in Hand to God
Credit photo by Tina Revazi Studio Theater

Every Monday on Maryland Morning, our theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in the studio to share her thoughts on some of the best (and sometimes not the best) stage productions in Baltimore and throughout the Maryland region. This morning, she arrives with her knit hand puppet Chaussette ​(photo below) to tell us about a remarkable new production of the 2015 Broadway hit and multiple Tony-nominee, Hand to God, now playing an extended run at Washington, D.C.'s Studio Theatre until October 2.

 Set in a church basement in a Texas backwater town, it takes us into the world of a Christian puppet ministry, where one puppet becomes the very black sheep of this hapless flock.  The puppet's demonic energies trigger a torrent of angry and lustful epiphanies among the town's denizens, in what Studio Theater calls "a ruthless comedy about sex, sinners and sock puppets."

Chaussette with theater hand J. Wynn Rousuck
Credit photo by Rob Sivak

 J. Wynn  Rousuck, quite the puppeteer herself, took creative advantage of the DIY puppet-making tables that Studio Theater sets up for "Hand to God" playgoers. The result was Chaussette.  Judy reports that unlike the play's evil and blasphemous Tyrone, her hand puppet, for now, is quite sweet-natured.

(This article was updated on 9/14 to reflect that Studio Theatre has extended the run of "Hand to God"  to Sunday, October 2.)