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Hands on a Hardbody - Full Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy

Hands on a Hardbody

Doug Wright, Amanda Green, Trey Anastasio

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Full Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy

9m, 6f

ISBN: 9780573701818

Book by Doug Wright
Lyrics by Amanda Green
Music by Trey Anastasio and Amanda Green

Nominee! 3 Tony Awards, including Best Original Score, 2013
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.

Note on Digital Perusal: Samuel French's new digital perusal process grants easy, digital access to music perusals while protecting the intellectual property of our composers, book writers, and lyricists. Samuel French perusals are intended to be used for finding the perfect show to fit your theater, casting pool, and resources. Perusals should be used to get acquainted with the music and script. They cannot be used to hold auditions, produce the show without a license, or find sheet music for a separate performance.

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Digital Perusal Score Rental
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Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.


Full Length Musical

Dramatic Comedy

Adaptations (Stage & Screen)

More than 120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century, 1990s

Settings Of Play - A car dealership in Longview, Texas.


Competition or audition material

Exterior Set, Opportunity for Spectacle

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


Strong Language, Mild Adult Themes


Adult, Senior, Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)


High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Outdoor, Large Stage


From Broadway

Nominee! 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding New Broadway Musical
Nominee! 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding New Score
Nominee! 2013 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Musical
Nominee! 2013 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Music
Nominee! 2013 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Lyrics
Nominee! 2013 Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Book of a Musical
Nominee! 3 Tony Awards, including Best Original Score, 2013

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.

Check out the videos below!


"You can hear the sound of America singing in this daring new musical" -
The New York Times, Read More

"Completely, satisfyingly right!" - Wall Street Journal, Read More

"Hands down it's musical theatre heaven!" - New York Magazine, Read More

“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, Read More


Keeping Their Hands On The Hardbody
by Scott Miller
November 2, 2014

HANDS ON A HARDBODY Drives from Broadway to Samuel French
by Katy DiSavino
April 24, 2013

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 & 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 by La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California, on June 6, 2012.  It was also directed by Mr. Pepe.



9m, 6f


Ensemble cast, Multicultural casting


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.


No Chorus

JD DREW: Male, 60 (Range: Baritone, G2-D4)
A “good old boy” with pomaded gray 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-Soprano, 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, 35-45 (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 dressed 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.

Rental Materials




Pop/Rock, Country/Western



1 Conductor/Keyboard I
15 Vocal Chorus Books

Guitar I
Guitar II
Keyboard II

SFTracks Available (Additional Fee)

Song Samples

Human Drama Kind of Thing

If I Had This Truck

If She Don't Sleep

My Problem Right There

Alone With Me

Burn That Bridge

I'm Gone

Joy of the Lord


Hunt with the Big Dogs

Hands on a Hardbody

Born in Laredo

Alone With Me (Reprise)

It's a Fix

Used to Be

It's a Fix (Reprise)

God Answered My Prayers

Joy to the Lord (Reprise)

Keep Your Hands On It

  • The Story of Hands on a Hardbody

  • The Creation of Hands on a Hardbody

  • The Music of Hands on a Hardbody

  • Producing Hands on a Hardbody

  • Green & Johnson - "I'm Gone"

  • Amanda Green discusses "I'm Gone"

  • Quote Montage

  • What Do You Stand For?

  • What is a Hardbody?

  • The Driving Force Behind Hands on a Hardbody

  • Behind the Soundtrack

Doug Wright

Doug Wright

Doug Wright’s play Quills premiered at Washington, D.C.'s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in 1995 and subsequently had its debut Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop. Quills garnered the 1995 Kesselring Prize for Best New American Play from the National Arts Club and, for Wright, a 1996 Village Voice Obie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting. In 2000, Wright wrote the screenplay ... view full profile

Amanda Green

Amanda Green

Amanda Green is a Tony-nominated lyricist/composer.  She is the recipient of the 2013 Frederic Loewe Award from the Dramatists Guild (with collaborator Trey Anastasio) for her music for Hands On A Hardbody (lyricist; co-composer), one of two new musicals she premiered on Broadway in the 2012-2013 season.  She also co-wrote the lyrics for Bring It On (currently on its second National Tour ... view full profile

Trey Anastasio

Trey Anastasio

Sometimes it’s tempting to reflect on the road not taken. But while most of us regard a fork in the road as an either/or proposition – left or right? – Trey Anastasio instead sees a convergence of opportunities.  Traveler, the new solo album that he co-produced with Peter Katis (The National, Interpol, Jónsi), marks the coalescence of the many roads. Anastasio has taken in his remarkable ... view full profile

Now Playing
Joseph Ferriero 10/23/2015 9:35 AM
Saw it on Broadway and loved it.  Had to have a copy of the script and read it.  Hopefully I will direct this next year with my high school students.  There are great characters and this show can be used for character development.
Jon Putzke 6/26/2015 8:51 PM
Great, great ensemble show! Get a truck on your stage! it's just plain FUN!
Scott Miller 4/19/2014 1:48 PM
Hands on a Hardbody is an actor's show, a character study of these contestants but also of America itself in these times of great economic divide. The show's structure-by-elimination works only if the audience cares who stays and who goes each time it happens. It's about universal emotions like despair, weariness, joy, hope, fear, love, friendship, and more.

I think Hands on a Hardbody is a show that never should have run on Broadway. It's not "a Broadway musical" by today's standards. It's more an off Broadway show, emotionally intimate, nuanced, and by definition, physically stagnant. It's not about eye candy; it's about people. I think Hardbody would have fared better in an off Broadway house, where no one would have expected the truck to spin and dance, where no one would have expected choreography or scenic spectacle. Though there are laughs, this is a serious story about serious people in serious times. It's physically about people standing still around this truck, but it's also about the metaphor of standing still, being trapped in life, being tired, being scared; but also conversely, about endurance, about standing up, about surviving. The narratives here are interior ones, and they are powerfully moving.

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