This week, I bring you all another event I attended through the charity of West Campus: Kitchen Theatre’s new play, Hand to God. For those of you (most of us), who aren’t familiar with this company, Kitchen Theatre is an organization in downtown Ithaca that performs plays in a small ninety-nine seat theater.
Here’s an external view of Kitchen Theater, which you may recognize if you frequently ramble around the Commons:
I found this to be pretty cool because the smaller capacity ensures that everyone gets a good view of what’s happening onstage and produces a more informal atmosphere. Furthermore, before the play begins, the audience can help itself to an array of food that is provided by the company, an arrangement that encourages people to socialize with each other. You’re also actually allowed to bring the food into the theater with you, so you can chew while you view. With the exception of tortilla chips and salsa, I got a little bit of everything they offered, which includes tenderloin, guacamole, aioli and bread. Yum!
Below, you can see a photo of my ticket, which says its price was $21. I actually got to go for free on opening night because this was a West Campus-sponsored event. For those of you who are considering going to the Kitchen Theatre, keep in mind that their actual tickets prices do not reflect what my ticket says. According to their website, for students, an opening night performance ticket costs $31, a regular performance costs $28, a preview performance costs $24, a Thursday matinee costs $24, and a student rush ticket costs $15. If you’re part of a larger group, tickets are cheaper (down to maybe $17 each). These prices are comparatively cheaper than those that non-students pay, and considering how the company offered a great quantity of the aforementioned food (which you can eat to your heart’s…or stomach’s content) as well as a performance that lasted a little under two hours, $28 isn’t too bad on a college student’s budget. So if you even remotely enjoy plays, the experience is definitely worth it!
Now, onto the spectacle itself. The play I saw was Hand to God, which is Kitchen Theatre’s first production for its 2016-2017 season. At first glance, this would appear to be a play about Christianity, a topic which the average college student may not find immediately appealing. However, after seeing this play, I can say with the utmost confidence that most college students would find it absolutely hilarious. Hand to God is actually about a Sunday school, puppet-making class gone wrong when a student’s puppet becomes possessed by Satan. What ensues is bloody violence, human and puppet sex (human with human, puppet with puppet–not human with puppet, you sexual deviant) and paper-eating. On a more serious note, by the end of the play, the audience realizes the importance of family and communication, as well as the purposes (intended or not) of religion. This goes without saying, but you may not want to bring your kid brother/sister, your grandparents, or anyone who may be offended by crude, religious humor. I’d go into further detail about what exactly happens in Hand to God, but I don’t want to spoil it for anybody who’s seriously considering going to see it, and this blog is a travel guide of sorts, not an arts and entertainment review.
A photo of the stage before the play began:
If I have convinced any of you to go see Hand of God, please note that Kitchen Theatre is only performing it until September 25, Sunday, so get your tickets fast! However, after my experience, I would seriously consider seeing any other play at Kitchen Theatre, and just in case you feel the same way, I’ve included a schedule of their season below. I really hope you guys take advantage of what Ithaca has to offer and stop by Kitchen Theatre at least once before you graduate!