Hand to God received five Tony Award nominations, including Best New Play. Tormented by feelings of lust and loss, an unhappy teenage boy tries to please his mother by performing with a puppet for her church ministry program. However, things get slightly out of hand and do not go according to plan. Tackling the nature of good and evil, Hand to God is a metaphor for getting to the crux of matters. Audience members should note that this dark comedy contains sexualized scenes, violence, profanity, and puppet nudity.
About the director
CRAIG WELLS – DIRECTOR
Actor, singer, director, teacher, Craig Wells was a professional actor in New York for 20 years, making his Broadway debut in 1988 in the musical Chess (original cast recording).Two years later he joined the Broadway cast of Les Misérables. Off-Broadway, Wells performed in Forbidden Broadway (original cast recording, Forbidden Broadway Vol. 3), Closer Than Ever, Colette Collage, and Balancing Act (original cast recording). Across the country, he toured for over a year in Les Misérables and performed regionally at Arena Stage, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, and the St. Louis MUNY. His television credits include “Reading Rainbow,” “All My Children,” and “Another World”. Prior to moving to the Coachella Valley, Wells performed lead roles inThe Drowsy Chaperone, Unnecessary Farce, and Rumors at Saint Michael’s Playhouse in Vermont. While in Vermont he co-directed and portrayed Pontius Pilate in the University of Vermont concert production of Jesus Christ Superstar. He also directed productions of A Grand Night for Singing, Stupid F#@king Bird, Hand to God, and Shakespeare in Love. As a faculty member at the University of Vermont, he taught Introduction to Acting, Improvisation, Musical Theatre Performance, and The Business of Show Business.
MATT FRANTA – FIGHT DIRECTOR
Matt Franta is a fight director, stunt performer, actor, educator, and Full Instructor with Dueling Arts International. NYC credits include the Off-Broadway productions We Are The Tigers, safeword., The Video Games, and Eco Village. Regional companies he has worked with include the Guthrie Theater, the Children’s Theatre Company, the Minnesota Opera, and the National Theatre for Children. As a teaching artist, Matt has taught stage combat across the U.S. and Canada with organizations such as the Society of American Fight Directors, the International Order of the Sword & Pen, and Dueling Arts International. Matt holds a B.A. in Drama/Speech from Clarke University in Dubuque, IA, and is a graduate of the International Stunt School in Seattle.
About the cast
- LUKE WEHNER* – JASON/TYRONE
- ALEISHA FORCE* – MARGERY
- KENNY STEVENSON – PASTOR GREG
- LEA MADDA* – JESSICA/JOLENE
- BLAKE KEVIN DWYER* – TIMOTHY
*Appearing through an Agreement between CVRep and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Stage Managers in the United States.
BLAKE KEVIN DWYER – TIMOTHY
Blake (He/Him) is thrilled to be back on the CVRep stage! Blake is a queer actor with a love for comedy. On stage he was last seen in Fun Home here at CVRep. His television credits include: With Love – AMAZON, Good Trouble – FREEFORM and Saved By The Bell – PEACOCK. He would like to give special thanks and love to his Fiancé Peter, his entire family, Malissa Young Management and Circle of 10 Talent. @Blakekevindwyer
ALEISHA FORCE – MARGERY
Aleisha Force is a Texas native and began as a high school teacher in Houston. Her favorite theatre roles include Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra at the Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Emilia in Othello at the Greer Garson Theatre, Jeannie in Fat Pig at Dallas Theatre Center, and as Jane Roe in Roe at LA’s Fountain Theatre as well Meagan in their world premiere of Human Interest Story. Her films include Subconscious, The Promise, Hold Your Peace and Making It Real and can be seen on TV in This is Us, For All Mankind, Prison Break and In The Cut. She holds an M.F.A. from Southern Methodist University (SMU) and studied with The Groundlings and UCB NYC. www.aleishaforce.com
LEA MADDA – JESSICA/JOLENE
Lea Madda (she/her) is thrilled to be making her debut with CV Rep! Recent theater credits include A BRIGHT NEW BOISE (Dezart Performs), ANNE, A NEW PLAY (Museum of Tolerance), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Alaska CAP), ANIMAL FARM (Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum), and SHE LOVES ME (Actors Co-op). Much love to Kara and Tiera at FSE Talent. MFA Acting – UCLA. AEA SAG-AFTRA @reallyofficial.leamadda
KENNY STEVENSON – PASTOR GREG
Kenny has been performing comedy in LA for 20 years, and has been performing at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade for over 15. Television: recurring roles on “Parks and Recreation”, “Comedy Bang Bang”, & “Brooklyn 99″ and has appeared on shows “This is Us”, “Hawaii Five-0”, & “The UCB Show”. He voiced and puppeteered the character “Edgar” on “Duff’s Happy Fun Bake Time”, and worked as an additional puppeteer on the Netflix show “Julie’s Greenroom” starring Julie Andrews. Ironically, he will not use a puppet in this show.
LUKE WEHNER – JASON/TYRONE
CVRep debut! Select theatre: Hand to God (Cleveland Critics Circle nom. – Best Actor), Peter and the Starcatcher, John (Dobama Theatre); The Crucible, Everything Will Be Different (Hunger Theatre); Dog Sees God (Inner Circle Creative); A Clockwork Orange (Hubris Theatre Company). Luke is lead vocalist of the New York based rock band The Permanent Revolution. Find them wherever music is streamed. Many thanks to Craig, Adam, and everyone at CVRep. For Ally & Yury, and Pauline.