Sound Design

Hand to God

by Robert Askins
Berkeley Rep 2017

Director: David Ivers
Scenic Designer: Jo Winiarski
Costume Designer: Meg Neville
Puppet Design: Amanda Villalobos
Lighting Designer: Alexander V. Nichols
Sound Designer/Composer/Music Adaptations: Joe Payne

"Be not deceived: The devil is lurking at the Christian Puppet Ministry in Cypress, Texas. And his name is…Tyrone. He may look like an innocent sock puppet, but when he infiltrates the angst-ridden church youth group and takes possession of Jason’s arm, well, all hell breaks loose. Spectacularly foul-mouthed and wickedly scandalous, Tyrone shocks the congregation with his outrageous insinuations, exposing their deepest secrets—and teaching us all about love, grief, and what it means to be human. This fast-paced irreverent comedy is “darkly delightful,” declares the New York Times."

From the beginning, David and I wanted to mix supernatural, religion, child-like, devilish, and driving popular angst.  The design transforms from music box bells, to popular "Friends" music, to angrier heavy metal as Tyrone and Jason's world spins out of control. All this with a wink at Christian music - OK, maybe more than a wink. It's all in good humor :). Hilarious. Sexy. Fast. Scary fun. One of my favorite projects in recent years. The bells, tones, adaptations and stingers are mine. The popular music and heavy metal came from found production music. Make sure you listen the the entire demo. You won't regret it - you'll even hear me sing (well, scream might be more accurate).  
Jo Winiarski’s set design, Alexander Nichol’s lighting and Joe Payne’s sound brilliantly recreate a simple Texas church basement gone satanic. A heavy metal score pumps up the angst, profane graffiti replaces the serene Jesus posters and colored spotlighting concentrates the progression and elevation of anxiety and drama.
-by Steve Murray, For All Events Article Link
Original, Adapted, and Found Music and Effect Sequences

Photos by Kevin Berne