Heaven at the Robinson

I was fortunate enough to see As it is in Heaven on its final night at the Emmett Robinson Theater. A visiting College of Charleston faculty member, Beth Lincks, penned the play in 2001 under the name Arlene Hutton. The play is set in a Shaker community in 1838. The storyline dealt primarily with the struggles of three young girls living in such a strict community. Though their particular form of rebellion isn’t very relatable, sneaking away to see angels, their struggle against elders who don’t understand them is.

Tickets were ten dollars to CofC students and cost more for the general public. The production probably could have cut costs on the costumes, but they were perfect. The actresses wore simple garbs that were very similar, but each character’s was slightly different making them believably homemade. I was pleasantly surprised to find the opening scene pretty funny and satirical. Emily Downey as Sister Betsy continued to supply the much needed comic relief throughout the performance, but Claire Sparks stole the show with her portrayal of Sister Fanny. She delivered her lines poiniantly with palpable emotion. My biggest issue with the show was the staging. I was seated in the stage-side seating. For the majority of the show the actors were seated along the stage on benches instead of going into the wings. So basically, I missed half of the show because my view was blocked. Other than that I thought it was a wonderful production.

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