Grasping the Puppetry of 'Hand to God' at Dobama Theatre

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Puppet theater is a challenging task in and of itself.  But it takes on an extra degree of difficulty when the puppet seemingly is possessed by the devil.  This is the challenge for actor Luke Wehner who stars as both 'Jason' the sweet god-fearing teenager and 'Tyrone' his diabolical sock puppet from Robert Askins' Tony-nominated play Hand to God  opening at Dobama Theater.

The actor, who first starred as these two characters, made quite an impression when Wehner saw the play on Broadway.

"I was just in awe of what he was able to do.  I thought to myself, 'Gosh, how do you find somebody who can do that?" Wehner recalled.

Little did he know at the time he'd someday get the chance to perform these challenging roles.  But when he was cast in the Dobama production he started to get cold feet.

"I had a few scary moments getting ready for it where I thought, 'Is this really something I'm going to be able to pull off?  Am I going to be able to do this?" he admitted.

Fortunately once he put 'Tyrone' on his hand, he realized the puppet would help him get through it.

"The more you spend with that puppet on your arm, really things start to feel so natural after a a while.  The puppets themselves that we're working with on this production are grade A, top notch, beautifully built.  They do maybe half of the work for you when you put them on.  It's like playing a Stradivarius," Wehner said.

Hand to God is onstage at Dobama Theatre in Cleveland Heights April 21- May 21.

Listen to the full interview:



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