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We had a wonderful book discussion and signing on Wednesday July 19 with author Jack Kelly! A special thank you to Paul Grondahl, Executive Director of the New York State Writers Institute (co-sponsors of the event), for introducing Jack Kelly and providing detailed context for the evening's talk about the Erie Canal.

Jack Kelly focused on topics of particular relevance to the Shaker Heritage Society, such as the role of the Erie Canal in the revival of religious and spiritual communities across New York State in the 19th century. Audience members asked many interesting questions, and there was even speculation about whether the nearly 53 foot long Meeting House beams may have been shipped along the canal!
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Enjoy an evening of Contra Dance in the historic 1848 Shaker Meeting House for both beginners and seasoned dancers alike. No experience necessary. $6/$10/$12 (student / member or senior / non-member) ... See MoreSee Less

Contra Dance Sponsored by the Dance Flurry

September 19, 2017, 6:00pm - September 19, 2017, 7:30pm

Enjoy an evening of Contra Dan...

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On Tuesday, April 12th and Wednesday, April 13th, Jeremiah Productions, Inc. will hold auditions for “Second Coming – The Character and Ministry of Mother Ann Lee of the United Society of Believers (Commonly Called Shakers).” This new play-with-music, written and directed by Bruce Cornwell, will be presented at the Shaker Meeting House at the Shaker Heritage Society in Colonie on July 15th, 16th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd and 24thThe auditions on April 12th and 13th will be held at the Community Reformed Church of Colonie, 701 Sand Creek Road in Colonie, NY from 7 to 9 pm.  Actors should prepare a song to be sung acapella 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.  There are roles for 8 women and 8 men in this ensemble piece.  Cast members will receive a stipend and mileage.

Available Roles:

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


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