As It Is In Heaven (play)

As It Is In Heaven (play)
As It Is In Heaven
Written by Arlene Hutton (Beth Lincks)
Characters 9 Female
Date premiered 2001
Original language English
Setting 1830s Shaker Community

As It Is In Heaven is a play by actor/director Beth Lincks, under the pen name Arlene Hutton. It premiered at 78th Street Theater Lab,[1] followed by a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and making its way to the Off-Broadway Arclight Theatre in New York City, New York, where it ran from January 11 to February 5, 2002. Hutton wrote the play after visiting the Pleasant Hills Shaker Village in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, a restored community that the Shakers occupied for more than a century, before abandoning it in 1927, after being unable to attract new converts. The title comes from the Shaker song "The Saviour's Universal Prayer (Our Father Who Art in Heaven)", a Shaker rendition of "Lord's Prayer".[2] The play is published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc..

Song List

The songs used were (as requested by the author) to be sung A cappella:

Year Type of music Song Title Author(s) Shaker Village origin
1829 Song I Never Did Believe Betsy Bates New Lebanon, New York
1835 Song Come Life, Shaker Life Issachar Bates New Lebanon, New York
1838 Song My Carnal Life I Will Lay Down South Union, Kentucky
1838 Song Come Dance And Sing Around The Ring New Lebanon, New York
1840s Song I Will Bow And Be Simple Mary Hazard New Lebanon, New York
1840s Song Who Will Bow And Bend Like A Willow Enfield, New Hampshire
1840s Hymn O Sisters Ain't You Happy Clarissa Jacobs New Lebanon, New York
1845 Hymn O Father Who Art In Heaven New Lebanon, New York
1847 Song Hop Up And Jump Up Shirley, Massachusetts
1848 Song 'Tis The Gift To Be Simple Joseph Brackett Jr. Alfred, Maine
1852 Hymn Glory Unto God We'll Sing Enfield, New Hampshire
1864 Song Come To Zion Paulina Bates New Lebanon, New York
1869 Song Welcome, Welcome Precious Gospel Kindred Enfield, New Hampshire
1870 Song Come The Fest Is Ready Canterbury, New Hampshire
1870s Hymn If Ye Love Not Each Other (More Love) Canterbury, New Hampshire

Critical reception

The play was well received by critics, with Herald saying, "A moving portrayal of upheaval caused when the utopian existence of an 1830s Shaker community in Kentucky is threatened by the arrival of 'newcomers' claiming to see angels…powerful and insightful…a thought-provoking piece, the message being that often we need not look as far as heaven to see angels here on earth…". On American Theatre Web, it was said that, "Hutton, who is best known for her charming Last Train to Nibroc, once again looks into a slice of Americana and a time when things seemingly were simpler while showing that even a 'utopian' existence such as the Shakers' was not without complications…Hutton asks some universal questions about the nature of community and belief that are timeless and also prove to be good fodder for storytelling on stage…AS IT IS IN HEAVEN contains a story that deserves to be told.", and a review on stated that, "What Hutton does that is so fascinating is to show us people who appear to be the very picture of goodness and brings out their eccentricities and frailties. [She] is excellent at drawing comedy from the situation…to its satisfying and inspiring conclusion".[3]


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