Hands On A Hardbody Play Analysis

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For approximately a month at the Tornabene Theatre, the Arizona Repertory Company had been showcasing Hands on Hardbody, a country rock musical about a several people trying to win a truck in a contest. This play’s book was written by Doug Wright, lyrics written by Amanda Green, and music done by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green. Thanks to the collaboration of the production team, the audience was able to experience a grueling contest in Longview, Texas of 1995. Presented by a special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., this play was successful in getting the audience invested in their characters’ lives and the outcome of incredible contest.

Hands on a Hardbody hit on many major ideas that were relevant to the audience as a society. Everything from disability to poverty to racism to religion to mental illness was touched upon. As the contestants struggled to be the last person standing that kept their hand on the truck, their backstories
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Hearing Chris sing, “I don’t wanna live any longer,” repeatedly before running out caused the spectators to experience an array of emotions. In fact, the pure emotion shown when each character is pushed to their breaking point that causes them to drop out of the contest is like no other. Experiencing the entire room go silent when they realize how far these characters were willing to go to achieve the “American Dream” is unnerving. Apart from the emotion, the design aspects alone are enough to make going to the play worth it. Watching the clever choreography throughout the play where the characters are moving around the truck while managing to keep their hands on the truck paired with the unique country rock music under dramatic lighting is entertaining, however it is important to note that this play is mainly a success due to its outstanding talented cast. Which is all the more reason to go see this influential

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