Hands on a Hardbody
Country/rock musical performed on the SYT Mainstage May 19 – Jun. 4, 2023.
Book by Doug Wright
Lyrics by Amanda Green
Music by Trey Anastasio & Amanda Green
May 19–Jun. 4:
Fridays at 7:00 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
Saturdays May 20 & Jun. 3 at 7:00 p.m.
(Saturday May 27 is 2:00 p.m. matinee only)
About This Production
10 contestants. 4 days. 1 truck. Inspired by true events (and a documentary film with the same title), and infused with a “fresh roots-rock vibe,” this is the hilarious, hard-fought contest where only one winner can drive away with the American dream. The lives of each contestant, along with the car dealer and a radio announcer are revealed during the struggle to win a Nissan “Hardbody.”
This popular show was the winner of Spotlight’s “Pick a Season” contest last year.
Hands on a WHAT???
That is exactly what I thought when I first heard the title of this show! In all honesty, it was not my favorite, nor did I have any intention of ever directing it. When Kenny originally approached me about directing a show this season, HOAH was the show I didn’t want to direct—any one but that one! Well, karma smacked me in the face, and it was the only one I was available for. At that moment I vowed to fall in love with this show, and fall in love I did.
HOAH is so much more than I ever expected it to be. It is not about a stupid contest in Texas, it is so much more. It is about humanity, grief, love, and the trials and tribulations of real people who chose to go through a grueling contest to help better their lives and the lives of their families. The perfect plot for a musical.
HOAH is based off of a 1997 documentary of the same name by S. R. Bindler, (and for curious minds, can still be found on YouTube) that follows a real life contest in Longview, Texas, where people would keep their hands on a truck for as long as they could. The last person standing wins the truck. They would face heat, rain, sleep deprivation, and hours upon hours of standing. It was not necessarily a test of the physically fit, but who had the mental stamina to come out on top. HOAH came to the stage in 2012, debuting at La Jolla Playhouse. With a book by Doug Wright and Music and Lyrics by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio, it enjoyed a short run on Broadway in 2013, and has continued to be presented regionally.
As a director, this show has been one of my biggest challenges. How do you create engaging scene work and choreography, when the cast has to keep their hand on a truck the whole time?! We explored the idea of conscious verses subconscious, and artful ways to use the truck in movement to help tell the story. The truck is indeed its own character. I could not be more proud of this incredible cast. They are a force of talent and each of them brings honor to the real-life humans they are portraying. They leave nothing but truth, understanding and love on the stage. We have had a wonderful time bringing this story to life, and we hope you
enjoy Hands On A Hardbody.
Renee Koher, Director
|J.D. Drew||Calvin Corey|
|Kelli Mangrum||Mia Hurley|
|Benny Perkins||Owen Donsker|
|Greg Wilhote||Declan Massey|
|Chris Alvaro||TJ Brumbaugh|
|Ronnie McCowan||Anyiah Smith|
|Heather Stovall||Zoey Waller|
|Virginia Drew||Wardeh Hanna|
|Mike Ferris||Ian Gray|
|Cindy Barnes||Melana Martinez|
|Jesusita Peña||Juliana Duran Sanchez|
|Norma Valverde||Lauren Youngstedt|
|Janis Curtis||Lyda Armistead|
|Frank Nugent||Braiden Lee|
|Don Curtis||Adam Kurbat|
|Ensemble / Frank Cover||Zoie Moller|
|Ensemble / Cindy Cover||Emmy Lange|
|Ensemble / Dr. Stokes||Vi Garza|
|Music Director||Elise Kurbat|
|Stage Manager||Maria Cruz|
|Scenic Design||Amber Suding|
|Costume Design||Heather Riddle|
|Lighting Design||Ellie Little|
|Hair & Makeup Design||Renee Koher|
|Properties Artisans||Kenny Grossman|
|Sound Design||Nevaeh Monk|
|Technical Coordinator||Josh Hontz|
|Sound & Spotlight Operator||Owen Morris|
|Light Operator||Elsie Donsker|
|Deck Manager||Zeke Brothers|
|Microphone Operator||Amber Suding|
|Tech Swing||Olivia Martinez|
|Bass||Emma Jean Elder|