September 18, 2018

VSU Theatre and Dance Presents “Hands on a Hardbody” Musical Sept. 20-25

"Hands on a Hardbody" will run Sept. 20-25 in VSU's Sawyer Theatre.

Valdosta State University Theatre and Dance will present “Hands on a Hardbody” Sept. 20-25 in Sawyer Theatre. Tickets are on sale now.

“Hands on a Hardbody,” based on a real-life contest depicted in a 1997 documentary of the same name, tells the story of a group of colorful characters who are trying to win a brand new truck by keeping their hands on the vehicle the longest.

“For 10 Texans who are down on their luck, the chance at a new life is only 50-some hours and a hardbody truck away,” according to a synopsis at “This all-American musical tells the story of a small-town Texas endurance contest, where the contestant who keeps their hands on a truck the longest gets to keep the truck.

“With tuneful country-rock melodies and soulful lyrics, ‘Hands on a Hardbody’ explores a diverse cross-section of a small-town Texas community and the trials they’ll endure for a chance to win a Nissan hardbody truck. From Jesus-loving Norma Valverde and injured and out-of-work J.D. to boastful former winner Benny and hopeful dreamer Kelli, each character has their own vision for the realization of their American Dream — and they’ll keep their hands on it as long as they can.”

Jacque Wheeler, VSU Theatre and Dance area chairwoman and director of “Hands on a Hardbody,” said the production is relevant to all.

“It represents all of us who struggle to overcome obstacles to get to a better place,” she said. “There are many, many humorous moments in the piece, but audiences will also connect with the struggles of the contestants and the pain of loss.”

Aaron Moore, who plays the role of J.D. Drew, an older gentleman who is struggling in his marriage and down on his luck, described the show as “personal and thought-provoking.”

“This musical is like nothing else I’ve worked on before in the fact that it is such a personal and heartfelt story told by and about ordinary, everyday people who discover so many truths about themselves and, in turn, about others and the world around them,” said Moore, a musical theatre performance major from Marianna, Florida, who expects to graduate in Spring 2019. “I’m looking forward to conveying a story to the audience that isn’t just a spectacle and ‘wow-factor’ theatrical piece, but is also a story that stirs the emotions and challenges our thought process and views in the world.”

“Hands on a Hardbody” is presented in two acts with an intermission. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, through Saturday, Sept. 22; 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23; and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, and Tuesday, Sept. 25.

Please note that this production contains adult language and mature themes.

Individual tickets for “Hands on a Hardbody” are $17 for adults, $14 for senior citizens, $11 for children and non-VSU students, and free for all VSU students with a valid 1Card. Tickets for groups of 10 or more people at a single performance are $10 per person. 

Tickets may be reserved by calling the VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office at (229) 333-5973 between the hours of 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday or by visiting 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The VSU Theatre and Dance Box Office is located on the first floor of the Fine Arts Building, at the intersection of Oak Street and Brookwood Drive, and may be reached by calling (229) 333-5973. Sawyer Theatre is located on the first floor.

VSU Theatre and Dance is committed to fostering excellence within its theatre performance, theatre production, theatre management, musical theatre, and dance programs while also contributing to the lifelong learning and cultural development of the citizens of South Georgia, North Florida, and beyond. Its 2018-2019 performance season continues throughout the fall and spring semesters with “Fall Dances: Diverge and PIHOS A Moving Biography,” “House of Desires,” “Tortoise vs. Hare 2: This Time It’s Personal,” “Intimate Apparel,” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”

Contact VSU Theatre and Dance at (229) 253-2914 to learn more.

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