Hand to God

Jungle Theater Director Christina Baldwin Scenic & Puppet Design Chelsea M. Warren Assistant Puppet & Scenic Design Josie Everett Costume Design Sarah Bahr Lighting Design Grant Merges Sound Design Sean Healey Property Manager John Novak Production Photography Dan Norman

critical response below

City Pages, Jay Gabler: “The play opens in a Texas church basement so faithfully rendered by scenic and puppet designer Chelsea M. Warren, it seems almost redundant given the plentitude of similar settings that abound in Minnesota. This basement holds surprises, though, and among them are the confrontational words spewed by Tyrone, a puppet on the arm of a mild-mannered teen named Jason (Riley O’Toole)… From the onstage talent to Warren and the rest of the design team, the Jungle’s unblinking production brings Askins’ subversive comic vision vividly to life.”

Star Tribune, Chris Hewitt: “The folks on stage also are in disarray. “Hand to God” is set in a church basement in Cypress, Texas, in a Sunday school puppetry class. (Chelsea M. Warren designed the witty puppets and slightly unwieldy set.) “

MinnPost, Pamela Espeland: “ Cheers for Chelsea Warren, maker of puppets and sets. Was it her idea to give Tyrone teeth? The car – used only once, in a short scene – is brilliant. The sets look like life-size puppet theaters, Punch and Judy super-sized.” 

Lavender Magazine, John Townsend: “The area premiere of the Robert Askins play, Hand to God, has been directed by Christina Baldwin with a penetrating apprehension of its tormented undercurrents at the Jungle Theater. It’s also one of the funniest shows of the year. Puppet designer Chelsea M. Warren has crafted charmingly goofy puppets that brightly contrast the dark roiling feelings beneath the surface.”

Cherry and Spoon: “The typical church basement is perfectly represented in Chelsea M. Warren's very detailed set - wood paneling, stairs down to the floor, inspirational posters, mini stage, folding chairs, toys and stuffed animals galore. It ingeniously converts to the pastor's office when a wall is moved across the stage, revealing the office on the other side. Chelsea also designed the cute and scary puppets, with Masanari Kawahara as puppeteering consultant.”

One Girl Two Cities, Laura VanZandt: “Chelsea M. Warren’s scenic design is fun yet effective, and it blends seamlessly with Grant E. Merges’ lighting design and Sean Healey’s sound design. We’re even treated to 8-bit Casio keyboard renditions of popular songs before and throughout. I also have to give credit to Warren for her puppet design, and to Myrtle Lemon for making the funniest and most memorable program I’ve come across.”