Hand To God

by Rob Askins

Booth Theater

also off-Broadway and West End

Moritz Von Stuelpnagel, director

Costumes by Sydney Maresca, Lighting by Jason Lyons, Sound by Jill B.C. Du Boff, Puppets by Marte Johanne Ekhougen


Church Basement: Sarah Stiles, Steven Boyer, Geneva Carr, and Michael Oberholtzer.

Church PLayground: Steven Boyer and Sarah Stiles.

Car: Steven Boyer and Geneva Carr

Bedroom: Steven Boyer

Church Office: Mark Kudisch, Geneva Carr, Michael Oberholtzer and Sarah Stiles.

Church Office: Geneva Carr, Mark Kudisch and Michael Oberholtzer.

Church Basement: Steven Boyer.

Off-Broadway, Manhattan Class Company at the Lucille Lortel Theater, 2014.

Church Basement: Sarah Stiles, Michael Oberholtzer, Mark Kudisch, Steven Boyer and Geneva Carr.

Church Office: Michael Oberholtzer and Geneva Carr.

Church Basement: Steven Boyer.

A scenic detail on the Broadway set

an article about that detail: http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/07/hand-to-god-audience-member-tried-to-plug-in-phone-beowulf-boritt

"Standing in for Divinity, Beowulf Boritt's clever set is almost a character in itself, an aggressively cheery basement rec room of a Lutheran church in Cypress, Texas, its powder-blue cinder-block walls festooned with colorful "God Loves You" art.... the play delivers a steady stream of laughs, and one truly uproarious sight gag full of details that keep on giving, after Tyrone's desecrating decorator hand has gone to town on the rec room. Let's just say you'll never look at a Hello Kitty doll the same way again. Not to mention poor Barbie." ~David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

"Beowulf Boritt's set is spot-on — complete with cinder-block walls and cheesy posters like "God Listens." One of the joys in the show is seeing what happens when Tyrone goes to town on it, complete with "666" graffiti and stuffed animals with their eyes plucked out. (That cheesy poster turns into "God Listens to Slayer.")" ~Mark Kennedy, Associated Press

"Terror lurks behind every crayon drawing of Jesus, made manifest by Beowulf Boritt's dollhouse set. Augmented from the MCC production, it never ceases to deliver surprises and jaw-dropping moments. (At one point, Boyer pauses for what feels like a minute as the audience slowly takes in the full scale of the visual horror show.)" ~Zachary Stewart, Theatermania

"Boritt is so clever about his design with its recreation room that easily converts to several other locales. When first spotted, the painted robin's-egg-blue cinder blocks walls of the rec room are covered with posters plugging religion. Crosses abound, as does a sign announcing "God Listens." When the second-act lights come up on the rec room, it's been converted into a wrecked room, where the "God Listens" sign is graffitied to "God Listens to Slayer." And that's not the only travesty that earns the changed set big laughs and applause. What's happened to a stuffed "Hello Kitty" doll is a rib-tickling blasphemy." ~David Finkle, Huffington Post

"A puppet ministry for teens is in session in this poster-plastered basement room (designed with cloying Christian cuteness by Beowulf Boritt) somewhere in Texas. The payoff comes in the second act, after Jason/Tyrone has totally gone over to the dark side, as evidenced in the riotous physical transformation of the church basement into the devil’s own lair. " ~Marilyn Stasio, Variety

"The setup for the play is set in the basement of a church in the suburban Texas. The set done by scenic designer Beowulf Boritt features the basement walls filled with posters of loving Jesus." ~ Sumayah Aamir, I4U News

"A puppet ministry for teens is in session in this poster-plastered basement room (designed with cloying Christian cuteness by Beowulf Boritt) somewhere in Texas. The payoff comes in the second act, after Jason/Tyrone has totally gone over to the dark side, as evidenced in the riotous physical transformation of the church basement into the devil's own lair.” ~Gordon Cox, Boston Herald

"The show originally played off-Broadway at MCC and scenic designer Beowulf Boritt and director Moritz von Stuelpnagel have done a great job of filling that larger stage." ~Perez Hilton, Perez Reviews

"The innocuous setting is a church basement in suburban Texas, where posters on the walls chirp cheery thoughts about Jesus." ~Charles Isherwood, New York Times

" Beowulf Boritt’s set design is a triumph; the way he captures the Church classroom feel of the room where the puppetry classes are held is remarkable – you can almost smell the chalk dust and that particular odour of dusty, fusty mediocrity. When Tyrone transforms it into a blood-splattered, carnage caressed obscenity shrine, the detail is superb and endlessly entertaining." ~Stephen Collins, British Theatre.com

"A witty, jigsaw set from Beowulf Boritt." ~Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"Beowulf Boritt's inspired set, which turns from family-friendly cinder-box mundanity to a devil's playground, including unspeakable acts against a Barbie and a Hello Kitty with her eyes gouged out." ~Linda Winer, Newsday

"There is, as well, a set revelation mid-way through the second act—think of it as what happens to a church basement when the devil is done redecorating—that is leaving audiences gasping for breath." ~Robert Kahn, NBC News NY

"Beowulf Boritt’s set is spot-on, and figures cleverly as the plot unfolds." ~Jonathan Mandell, DC Theatre Scene

"Set designer Beowulf Boritt deserves a special mention for creating what actually seems like a multi-purpose room at a church. The audience actually spends several minutes during the beginning of the second act laughing at the set changes that occurred due to Tyrone’s rampage. Stuffed animals and dolls now have penises and boobs drawn on them and a sign that read “God listens!” in the first act now reads “God listens to Slayer” in the second act." ~ Kevin M Thomas-SF GLBT arts examiner

"...Broadway bells and whistles (note the inventive set by Beowulf Boritt)" ~Bruce Miller, Souix City Journal

Off-Broadway Reviews:

"Set designer Beowulf Boritt (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) proves once again to be a master of American institutional interiors: The blue-painted cinder blocks of the church basement are festooned with inspirational Jesus posters. Furniture is made mostly of brightly colored molded plastic. This makes for an all-the-more-startling reveal when Tyrone "redecorates" this basement puppet studio à la Linda Blair in The Exorcist." ~Zachary Stewart, Theatremania

"If the devil happened to be in an antic mood, he’d find the perfect playroom in the poster-plastered Texas church basement designed with cloying cuteness by Beowulf Boritt." ~Marilyn Stasio, Daily Variety

"Beowulf Boritt designed the clever set, the walls of which bend from time to time to reveal other environments. As the basic surrounding, they're covered with posters and drawings dedicated to the glory of God and his only begotten son. Later they're covered with Tyrone's graffiti and serve as yet another opportunity for belly laughs by patrons who relish the iconoclastic." ~David Finkle, Huffington Post

" Hand to God steadily raises the stakes in Act II ... Thrashing about the entirety of Beowulf Boritt's amusing rec-room set." ~Jason Clark, Entertainment Weekly

" Beowulf Boritt inventively uses the small stage of the Lucille Lortel Theatre for his great set, which seamlessly presents the schoolroom and other locations." ~ Darryl Reilly,Theatrescene

"Beowulf Boritt has designed a strictly naturalistic set against which the zanier antics may play out." ~Matthew Murray, Talkin' Broadway

"Designer Beowulf Boritt provides a cute, flexible setting that later packs some amusing visual gags." ~Michael Sommers, NJ Newsroom

"The folding set by Beowulf Boritt morphs cleverly from cinder block basement to bedroom to office aided by Jason Lyons lighting design." ~Sandi Durell, Theatre Pizzazz

London Reviews:

"Again designed ingeniously by Beowulf Boritt." ~David Finkle, Huffington Post

"The community cosiness of the church hall designed by Beowulf Boritt (another name worthy of a sock puppet?) has been well and truly monstered." ~Michael Coveney, What's on Stage