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The Character and Ministry of Mother Ann Lee of the United Society of Believers (Commonly Called Shakers)

Staged Reading Auditions 

On Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12, Jeremiah Productions, Inc. will hold auditions for a staged reading of “Second Coming – The Character and Ministry of Mother Ann Lee of the United Society of Believers (Commonly Called Shakers).” The reading of this new play-with-music written and directed by Bruce Cornwell will be held at the Shaker Meeting House at the Shaker Heritage Society in Colonie on August 29th and 30th.  The auditions on July 11 and 12 will be held at the Community Reformed Church of Colonie, 701 Sand Creek Road in Colonie, NY.  Auditions on July 11 will be held from 11 am to 3 pm and on July 12 from 1 to 5 pm.  Actors should prepare a song to be sung a capella along the lines of Greensleeves (“What Child is This?) or “Simple Gifts”/“Lord of the Dance.” Actors will be asked to read from the script.  Sides from the play will be provided.

The play tells the story of Ann Lee one of the most influential female religious figures in western culture.  She and a small band of followers arrived in the American Colonies in 1774 and established a Christian sect in upstate New York which eventually grew to have thousands of followers and which became America’s most important and successful utopian community.  The sect, which was characterized by wild shaking, impassioned singing, dancing, and speaking in tongues believed Ann to be the female embodiment of Christ.

All cast members must be able to sing and handle simple choreography.  A number of cast members portray multiple characters.  Needed are:

  1. Ann Lee – mid-30s
  2. William Lee (Ann’s Brother), 30
  3. John Hocknell (follower and financier), 40s
  4. James Whittaker, 20
  5. Mary Partington (follower), 30s
  6. Elder/John Lee (Ann’s father)/John Partington (follower)/General Sullivan, 40s-50s
  7. James Wardley (British religious dissenter/Joseph Meacham (Shaker Leader), 30s-40s
  8. Abraham Standerin (Ann’s Husband)/Governor Clinton, 40s
  9. Priest/Captain Smith (ship’s captain)/Calvin Harlow (Shaker leader), 30s-40s
  10. Eldress/Eunice Cunningham (NYC landlord), 40s
  11. Mother Jane (British religious dissenter), Hanna Hocknell (follower), 40s
  12. Nancy Lee (Ann’s niece)/Dancer, teens
  13. Rachel Partington (follower)/Dancer, teens
  14. Phoebe (prostitute)/Rebecca Hocknell (follower)/Dancer, 20’s

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