Priest Visited By St. Jude in World Premiere, Hand of God, in Palm Beach

News   Priest Visited By St. Jude in World Premiere, Hand of God, in Palm Beach Palm Beach Dramaworks, West Palm Beach's only professional theatre, begins the new year with a world premiere — Hand of God, by South Florida playwright Michael McKeever.

Previews begin Jan. 4 toward a Jan. 6 opening at the Equity company's intimate downtown Studio Theatre at 322 Banyan Boulevard.

Set in suburban Philadelphia, Hand of God centers on two priests' struggle to confront the truth after one claims to have had a visitation from a saint.

"When Monsignor Leighton claims to have had a visage from Saint Jude, the parish calls Father McKay, a one-time apprentice to the Monsignor," according to the company. "Faith and perception are stripped away as the two men, whose trusted relationship has created a remarkable sense of loyalty, struggle to confront the truth on Monsignor's revelations."

Directed by Dramaworks' managing artistic Director Nanique Gheridian, Hand of God features Steve Mouton, Gordon McConnell, Karen Stephens and Dramaworks' producing artistic director William Hayes.

The creative team includes scenic designer Michael Amico, costume designer Pam Kent and lighting designer John Hall. Michael McKeever is one of South Florida's most recognized playwrights. His first play, That Sound You Hear, premiered in 1996. His works include Charlie Cox Runs with Scissors, Open Season, The Garden of Hannah List, 37 Postcards, The Velveteen Undertow, Sexy & Miggs, Don't Tell the Tsar, Wait and See, The New Orleans Story and That Sound You Hear.

McKeever won two South Florida Critics' Association Carbonell Awards for The Garden of Hannah List (1998) and Charlie Cox Runs with Scissors (2004).

In addition to being a playwright and actor, he is also an award winning artist and set designer. He lives in South Florida and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Performances continue to Feb. 5. For information, call (561) 514-4042 or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.

From Left: Gordon McConnell, Steve Mouton and William Hayes in <i>Hand of God</i>.
From Left: Gordon McConnell, Steve Mouton and William Hayes in Hand of God. Photo by Shel Shanak