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Hands on a Hardbody

Inspired by true events, 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.

10 contestants. 4 days. 1 truck.

  • Full Length Musical
  • Backing Tracks, Dramatic Comedy
  • 120 minutes

  • Time Period: 1990s, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Target Audience: Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18), Adult, Senior
  • Set Requirements: Exterior Set, Opportunity for Spectacle
  • Cautions: Strong Language, Mild Adult Themes
  • Orchestra Size: Medium

  • Performance Group:
  • Large Stage, Dinner Theatre, Community Theatre, High School/Secondary, Professional Theatre, Outdoor, College Theatre / Student

  • Accolades:
  • Nominee! 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Musical
    Nominee! 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Score
    Nominee! 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical
    Nominee! 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music
    Nominee! 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics
    Nominee! 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical
    Nominee! 3 2013 Tony Awards including Best Original Score
For 10 hard-luck Texans, a new lease on life is so close they can touch it. Under a scorching sun for days on end, armed with nothing but hope, humor and ambition, they'll fight to keep at least one hand on a brand-new truck in order to win it. In the hilarious, hard-fought contest that is Hands on a Hardbody only one winner can drive away with the American dream.

Inspired by the true events of the acclaimed 1997 documentary of the same name by S.R. Bindler, produced by Kevin Morris and Bindler.


"You can hear the sound of America singing in this daring new musical!"

 The New York Times

"Completely, satisfyingly right!"

Wall Street Journal

"Hands down it's musical theatre heaven!"

New York Magazine

"Well, if the run isn't extended due to sales being through the roof, then something is terribly wrong with the world. This is a spectacular theatrical production and should be seen by everyone in town."

The Sappy Critic

Premiere Production: Hands on a Hardbody was first presented on Broadway by Broadway Across America, Beth Williams, Barbara Whitman/Latitude Link, Dede Harris/Sharon Karmazin, Howard & Janet Kagan, John and Claire Caudwell, Rough Edged Souls, Joyce Primm Schweickert, Paula Black/Bruce Long, and Off The Aisle Productions/Freitag-Mishkin at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City on March 21, 2013. The musical was previously presented by La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California, on June 6, 2012. It was also directed by Mr. Pepe.
  • Casting: 9M, 6F
  • Casting Attributes: Ensemble cast, Minority casting
  • Casting Notes: Despite their colorful eccentricities and regional turns of phrase, the characters in our story are inspired by very real people. They should not be played broadly, or with an implied "wink." Rather, they should be acted with integrity, with full regard for their ardent hopes, heart-breaking foibles and core decency.
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

  • JD Drew: Male, 60 (Range: Baritone, G2-D4)
    A "good old boy" with pomaded grey hair and a highwattage grin.
  • KELLI MANGRUM: Female, 22 (Range: Mezzo-Soprano, A3-E5)
    A pretty brunette with steel ambition.
  • BENNY PERKINS: Male, Mid-40's (Range: Tenor, C#3-G#4)
    Lanky frame, weatherbeaten face, ingratiating grin and lots of homespun philosophy.
  • GREG WILHOTE: Male, Early 20's (Range: Tenor, D3-B4)
    A freckled white kid in a baseball cap.
  • JESUS PENA: Male, 20's (Range: Tenor, E3-B4)
    A driven Mexican kid.
  • CHRIS ALVARO: Male, 20's (Range: Tenor, Ab2-Ab4)
    Well-built under his hoodie, a pair of aviator glasses conceal his eyes.
  • RONALD McCOWAN: Male, 35 (Range: Tenor, F3-B4)
    A goodnatured African-American with a slight Louisiana accent.
  • HEATHER STOVALL: Female, 29 (Range: Mezzo-Soprano, A3-D#5)
    A flirtatious blonde restaurant hostess.
  • VIRGINIA DREW: Female, Mid-50's (Range: Mezzo-Sopranom G3-C5)
    A one-time beauty settling into middle-age.
  • MIKE FERRIS: Male, Late 30's (Range: Tenor, Eb3-Bb4)
    Boyishly handsome, wears a cheap tie with a Nascar clip.
  • CINDY BARNES: Female, 34-50 (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible)
    Former Miss Gregg County, still fond of pageant hair and pastels.
  • NORMA VALVERDE: Female, 35-50 (Range: Low Mezzo, D3-G5)
    A stout Latina woman in tennis shoes and a floral applique t-shirt.
  • JANIS CURTIS: Female, Mid-60's (Range: Low Mezzo, D3-Bb4)
    A tough old bird with sun-burnished skin and missing teeth.
  • DON CURTIS: Male, Mid-60's (Range: Baritone, A2-Bb3)
    Wears a cardboard sign on his head that proclaims "I LOVE YOU JANIS, GO BABY GO!"
  • FRANK NUGENT: Male, Mid-50's (Range: Bari-Tenor, Eb3-Gb4)
    Disc Jockey, a diehard good ole boy dresses in a Stetson.
  • DOCTOR STOKES: Male, Age Flexible (Range: Ensemble/Part Flexible)
    A professor from LeTourneau University.
    Rendered realistically; it should have corporeality, heft and an alluring, shiny red finish.
  • Name Price
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    1 x Libretto/Chorus Book