MANCHESTER — Peeling back an added layer into the Shaker way of life in the Granite State, the Currier Museum of Art and theatre KAPOW present a play reading Sunday at 2 p.m. about newcomers who literally shook the foundations of a prosperous Puritan community.
The ARTiculate Playreading Series program centers on Arlene Hutton’s story “As It Is in Heaven,” a glimpse into how modes of worship were being slowly transformed into something more visionary and ecstatic.
Hymns sung a cappella punctuate the scenes of the play, and The Canterbury Singers will join the theater group (also known as tKAPOW) in a presentation of song and spirit.
The play reading complements a special exhibit, “Shakers and the Modern World: A Collaboration with Canterbury Shaker Village,” on view through Feb. 16 at the Currier, 150 Ash St.
The exhibit opens the door to the group, which both embraced communal living and religious devotion and explored modern innovations in electric power and mass production. Displays feature classic and Victorian-style Shaker furniture, boxes, buckets and pails. The exhibition will also present rarely seen founding documents, such as Canterbury’s first written covenant from 1796.
“As It Is in Heaven” offers a further look at the Shakers. This reading features nine actresses: Amy Agostino, Carey Cahoon, Emma Cahoon, Gina Carballo, Teddi May Kennick-Bailey, Rachael Chapin Longo, Katie Proulx, Victoria Vinson and Barbara Webb and is directed by Matt Cahoon. A discussion afterward will be led by Landis K. Magnuson, professor of theater at Saint Anselm College.
Tickets to the program are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and $10 for students. For information, visit tkapow.com.