Playwright Arlene Hutton, whose romantic drama Last Train to Nibroc received a 2000 Drama League nomination, brings a vision of the America's old religious orders in the U.S. premiere of her latest work, As it Is in Heaven, opening Sept. 16 at the 78th Street Theatre Lab. Performances began Sept. 14 for a run through Oct. 7.
A musical drama, As it Is in Heaven explores the lives of nine Shaker women in 1830's Kentucky who are threatened when a newcomer to their strict religious sect begins having visions of angels. Developed at New Dramatists where Hutton has been a member since 1998, As It Is in Heaven received a Cameron Mackintosh Foundation Grant and the John Lippman New Frontier Award. As it Is in Heaven took its first bows at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Aug. 3-28.
Hutton is the pen name for actress-director Beth Lincks. Her other works include the short plays I Dream Before I Take the Stand, Houseplay, Pushing Buttons and In the Mind's Eye. As It Is in Heaven is her second full-length play.
Judith Hawking (Kevin Kline's Ivanov, Marco Polo Sings a Solo) stars with Priscilla Shanks, Margot Avery, Juie Alderfer, Carla Cantrelle, Soline McLain, Ruth Nightengale and Edinburgh Fringe Best Actress nominee Alexandra Geis, who originated the role of May in Last Train to Nibroc.
Tickets are $15. The 78th Street Theatre Lab is located at 236 West 78th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam. For reservations, call (212) 873 9050. — By Christine Ehren