HAND TO GOD Opens 12th Season for Dezart Performs

When the puppets – and puppeteers – of the Tony-nominated HAND TO GOD take to the stage November 8 – 17 as the 12th season opener for Dezart Performs, it’s definitely not Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

“Imagine Sesame Street in a mashup with The Exorcist, and you’ve got the flavor of this hilarious but very-much-for-adult audiences play,” said Michael Shaw founding artistic director for Dezart Performs.  “You’ll laugh for sure, but leave the kids at home. It’s a dark but dishy comedy.”

After the death of his father, meek Jason finds an outlet for his anxiety at the Christian Puppet Ministry in the devoutly religious, relatively quiet small town of Cypress, Texas. Jason’s complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door, and—most especially—his mother, are thrown into upheaval when Jason’s puppet, Tyrone, takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own.  The result: a play “so ridiculously raunchy, irreverent and funny it’s bound to leave you sore from laughing. Ah, hurts so good.” (New York Daily News)

Written by Robert Askins, the production is directed by Shaw and features
Yo Younger (Margery); Eddie Vona (Jason/Tyrone), Danny Gomez (Timothy), Brenna Williams (Jessica), and Roy Abramsohn (Pastor Greg)

After HAND TO GOD, the season switches to drama with the acclaimed off-Broadway hit DANIEL’S HUSBAND by Michael McKeever (January 10 – 19). Rounding out the season are the Pulitzer Prize-winning working class drama SWEAT by Lynn Nottage (February 28 – March 8) and the comedy/drama EVERY BRILLIANT THING written by Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe (April 3 – 12). A full list of shows including casts follows at the end of this release.

Dezart Performs, one of the Coachella Valley’s preeminent theatre companies, recognizes that the performing arts enrich the life and culture of a community, promote greater understanding and provoke insightful discussion. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre company, its mission is to provide an artistic home for bold and cutting–edge plays, creating an atmosphere of artistic growth for actors, writers, and directors who uniquely contribute to the diverse theatrical environment in the Coachella Valley.

Season package prices: (4-Show Season Packages $124-164; 3-Show Season Packages $96-126). All performances take place at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman’s Club) 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs. Tickets may be purchased online at www.dezartperforms.org, or by calling (760) 322-0179. Showtimes are Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 7:30pm; Sundays at 2pm.

12th Dezart Performs Complete Season  & Cast Listing

HAND TO GOD
Written by Robert Askins
Directed by Michael Shaw
Dark comedy
November 8-17, 2019

Cast:
Margery – Yo Younger
Jason/Tyrone – Eddie Vona
Timothy – Danny Gomez
Jessica – Brenna Williams
Pastor Greg – Roy Abramsohn

The Tony-nominated Broadway hit comedy, where The Exorcist Meets Sesame Street! “HAND TO GOD is so ridiculously raunchy, irreverent and funny it’s bound to leave you sore from laughing. Ah, hurts so good.” —New York Daily News

After the death of his father, meek Jason finds an outlet for his anxiety at the Christian Puppet Ministry in the devoutly religious, relatively quiet small town of Cypress, Texas. Jason’s complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door, and—most especially—his mother are thrown into upheaval when Jason’s puppet, Tyrone, takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own. (note: for mature audiences)

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DANIEL’S HUSBAND
Written by Michael McKeever
Directed by Darin Anthony
Drama
January 10-19, 2020

Cast:
Daniel – Michael Shaw
Mitchell – David Youse
Barry – Chuck Yates
Trip – Hanz Enyeart
Lydia – Deborah Harmon

Off-Broadway’s Latest Hit Drama! One of The New York Times plays to see! “A profound look at love and commitment.” —The Daily Beast

Daniel and Mitchell are the perfect couple. Perfect house, perfect friends – even a mother who wants them married. They’d have the perfect wedding, too, except that Mitchell doesn’t believe in gay marriage. A turn of events puts their perfect life in jeopardy, and Mitchell is thrust into a future where even his love may not prove to be enough. DANIEL’S HUSBAND is a bold reflection of love, commitment, and family in our perilous new world. Starring WHITE GUY ON THE BUS’ David Youse and Dezart Performs Artistic Director, Michael Shaw.

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SWEAT
Written by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Michael Shaw
Drama
February 28-March 8, 2020

Evan – Eddie Stephens
Jason – James Owens
Chris – Cortez Johnson
Stan – Mike Truelock
Oscar – Miguel Arballo
Tracey – Theresa Jewett
Cynthia – Desireé Clarke
Jessie – Leanna Rogers
Brucie – Cary Thompson

Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. SWEAT exposes the collapse of the American working class in the new millennium. “Sharp and threatening as a box cutter blade…ferociously engrossing…SWEAT never feels less than authentic—and crucial.” —Deadline.com

It’s the year 2000 in Reading, Pennsylvania and a group of friends go to work at the steel mill and then decompress at the bar like they’ve been doing for over 20 years. But, unbeknownst to them, their lives are about to be uprooted. Their steel mill is making some changes and the blood, sweat and tears of generations of loyal workers don’t seem to amount to much. SWEAT dissects the insidiousness of privilege and entitlement, reminding you that there’s always someone on a lower plane to blame for your troubles, and there will always be someone who stands to profit from your loss.

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EVERY BRILLIANT THING
Written by Duncan Macmillan with Jonny Donahoe
Directed by Deborah Harmon
Comedy/Drama
April 3-12, 2020

Cast:
Narrator – Joel Bryant

“A heart-wrenching, hilarious play…One of the funniest plays you’ll ever see about depression—and possibly one of the funniest plays you’ll ever see, full stop!” —The Guardian

You’re six years old. Mom’s in the hospital. Dad says she’s “done something stupid.” She finds it hard to be happy. So you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world. Everything that’s worth living for. 1. Ice cream. 2. Kung Fu movies. 3. Burning things. 4. Laughing so hard you shoot milk out your nose. 5. Construction cranes. 6. Me. You leave it on her pillow. You know she’s read it because she’s corrected your spelling. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own. A play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love.

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