A controversial topic for many could be politics but, for others, it’s religion.
A play which takes on the circumstantial and topic controversy is non-other than Hand to God written by Robert Askins, which was produced at Theatre of the Republic in downtown Conway, March 16 to March 25.
This play addresses morality, the world of uncertainty and absurd situations. It is set in a backwoods church in the middle of nowhere. The plot follows a centric family with problems such as the mom contemplating whether or not sleeping with a child her own son’s age is wrong, and her son battling with a demon possessed puppet which lives on his hand and makes decisions for the host.
One current Coastal student made his first appearance at Theatre of the Republic within this show, but it’s not the only work he has done. Known as Gable Harkins, a BFA Acting major, he has played in shows here at CCU like Our Country’s Good and The Maids. His role was vital within the show as a comical narcissistic kid who doesn’t know when to be quiet and doesn’t keep his thoughts to himself, no matter how obscene they may sound.
Harkins played the character named Timothy in Hand to God, a troubled child who is seduced by the mother of the son with a possessed puppet on his hand (played by Emily Martel). He finds himself in love with this older woman, and she takes advantage of his feelings because she is lonely. They screw around, and it all goes downhill from there in this absurd world. With all these crazy objectives and scenes including ridiculous tasks per each character, Harkins did an incredible job with his delivery and craft for Timothy. He didn’t hesitate or deviate from what his given objectives were and really became his character throughout the show.
Harkins handled this character well by compellingly portraying things that are completely repelled and not normalized in society. He connected well with the audience and had them believing his act. It didn’t feel unreal - it felt justified and as if we were watching a teenage kid and his obscene day.