SHOW TITLE: Hank & Jesus (“Hay-soos”)
PRODUCER: Preus Productions
HAILING FROM: Minneapolis, Minnesota
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Finally sober, Hank is adrift with only his kind heart and bad country songs for navigation. A helpful visitor nudges him on a new path, home for a family Christmas, and closer to the miracle he really needs.
WHAT CAUGHT MY INTEREST: To my demographic bewilderment, I’m a fan of both country music “Jesus-as-an-ordinary-dude” narratives.
INTERVIEWEE: Janet Preus (writer/director)
Just who do you think you are, anyway?
I’m an experienced director and theater reviewer, a songwriter, and an emerging playwright who hopes to fully emerge before my kids put me in a care facility.
So what’s the big idea?
Finally sober, Hank is adrift with only his songs and kind heart for navigation. An old friend named Jesus shows up, nudges him on a new path, home to his rural Minnesota town for Christmas with his somewhat dysfunctional family, and closer to the miracle he longs for.
How did you come up with a screwy idea like that?
Remember the “WWJD” bracelets from many years back? I asked myself, “What would Jesus really do? What if Jesus did what anybody could do, if they just would? Let me be clear: there’s no preaching in this play and its connection to “Jesus” is pretty loose. But the idea of putting just some guy named Jesus with a country songwriter wannabe was kind of irresistible to me as a playwright – and especially as a songwriter myself. Besides, I get to write bad country songs, and how fun is that?
Why should I care?
I bet you’ll see something of yourself, your friends or somebody in your family in this show, especially if you’ve ever been in recovery, tried to write a country song, experienced a semi-disastrous family Christmas, tasted lutefisk or lefse and understood (or wondered about) why it matters.
Justify your show’s existence in haiku form.
I’ll write one great song.
They’ll all respect me with a
Questions? Comments? Enraged invective? Check out my answers to occasionally asked questions in Notes on Notes, or the contact info linked from that page!