Best New Play - 2006
Hand of God at Palm Beach Dramaworks
Michael McKeever is probably the South Florida theater community's MVP this year. He writes plays. He acts in plays. He designs sets. Oh, and the playbills you use to fan yourself? It's very likely he designed their covers. Hand of God, McKeever's new play about Catholic priests could, in theory, make you wince from the possibility of bringing out the clergy's dark secrets. But the play is really about introspection and the miracle of kindness in daily human interaction, which makes Hand of God almost feel warmly out of time, the same way that gentle chess-playing priests bantering in a sunlit rectory also seem to be from another time. This sense of slowing down, of deliberate thought, and of welcoming the unexpected in life, binds the play together. If you were from someplace frigid, like New England (or, for that matter, Palm Beach County), you could say that Hand of God feels like the first warm day of spring, when you can sit in the sun on the grass and talk with your friends after a long, cold winter inside.