Artwork for As It is in Heaven




"As It Is In Heaven"

After the runaway success of his production last year with Christopher Marlowe's "Doctor Faustus," director Jeremy Cole returns to Actors Ensemble of Berkeley for the final show of the 2009 season with his latest production, Arlene Hutton's "As It Is In Heaven." Featuring a capella singing from its cast of nine women, "As It Is In Heaven" has not been seen often in the Bay Area and Actors Ensemble of Berkeley is proud to present Ms. Hutton's fine drama to our loyal Berkeley audience. As usual, this production will be presented at our Live Oak Theatre home - located in the heart of Berkeley's famed Gourmet Ghetto - and will premiere on October 23rd and run through November 21st, Fridays and Saturdays, with an extra performance on Thursday, November 19th, with all performances beginning at 8pm.

"As It Is In Heaven" ("AIIIH") is the story of a religious community in crisis and is set in 1838 in the Shaker village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. When a newcomer to the community begins experiencing visions, the older members begin to question their own devotion to the Way, as they haven't had any such visions. Alternately dramatic and comic, the play reflects the simplicity of the lifestyle it depicts, and is punctuated by Shaker songs. Based on actual events from the Era of Manifestations in the late 1830's, "AIIIH" interprets a time when reports came to light of young Shaker girls experiencing unusual trancelike activities, communication with angels, and descriptive journeys to heavenly places.

The Los Angeles Times wrote of Ms. Hutton and "As It Is In Heaven": “In a crowded field of disaffected and iconoclastic playwrights, Arlene Hutton is a breed apart. One of the most richly humane voices in contemporary theater, she drips balm, not acid, on the chafed psyches of her grateful audiences…As stripped down and unpretentious as a Shaker chair, the play is amusing, intellectually stimulating and moving -- a beautifully crafted piece that will endure.”

Arlene Hutton is a MacDowell Colony fellow and member of the Dramatists’ Guild. Her first full-length, "Last Train to Nibroc," received a 2000 NY Drama League nomination for Best Play and more than fifty regional productions. AS IT IS IN HEAVEN premiered in Edinburgh, opened in NYC at the 78th Street Theatre Lab, moved to the ArcLight Theatre and received a highly-acclaimed four-month run at the Actors’ Co-op in LA.

Jeremy Cole recently relocated to the Bay Area from the Denver area and has since directed "Macbeth" and "Richard III" for Subterranean Shakespeare, "Doctor Faustus" for Actors Ensemble of Berkeley and the recently completed "Aaron Trotter and the Incident at Bikini Beach" for the Thunderbird Theatre Company. Quoting Alan Dumas of The Rocky Mountain News on Mr. Cole: "Jeremy is one of a handful of directors (in Denver) capable of going completely beyond the text." "He can take a script like Beirut or The Lady and the Clarinet and turn them into these big hits, these interesting complex shows filled with his own world-view and interpretation. Unlike a lot of directors who treat the script as sacrosanct, the script for Jeremy is just one small element. There's nobody in Denver who can touch him."

Basic Information


October 23rd - November 21st, Fridays and Saturdays, with an extra show on Thursday, November 19th. All shows 8pm.


"As It Is In Heaven"


Actors Ensemble of Berkeley


Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Avenue (@ Berryman) in Berkeley

Public Info:

(510) 649-5999

Admission: All shows - $15 General Admission; $12 for Seniors and Students (w/ I.D.). To order tickets online, go to To reserve tickets, call (510) 649-5999.

Eric Carlson (510) 525-7511 -


Alan Barkan -

The Performers

Peggy De Coursey Sister Phebe
Lisa Drostova Sister Jane
Jean Forsman Sister Betsy
Molly Holcomb Sister Fanny
Alexis Lane Jensen Sister Peggy
Jillian Jetton Sister Izzy
Ann Kendrick Sister Hannah
Jessica Price Sister Polly
Jennifer Rice Sister Rachel


Director Jeremy Cole
Musical Director Alexis Lane Jensen
Assistant Director / Props Martha Luehrmann
Stage Manager Jose Garcia
Set Norm De Veyra, Shu Ping Guan
Costumes Elizabeth Van Buren
Lighting Alecks Rundell
Producer Alan Barkan


Review at Street Prophets Link to Review
Review at Link to Review
Review at Berkeley Daily Planet: Link to Review
Review at Daily Californian Link to Review

Additional Downloads & Links

32 photos for public use on websites (425 pixels wide) Link to Photos
Play Program Download PDF
Director's Comments Video on YouTube Link to YouTube
As it is in Heaven Postcard Download PDF