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Angel Reapers

From 35 member  reviews
Members say: Great staging, Original, Disappointing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking

About the show

Signature Theatre presents a blend of Shaker songs, modern dance, and theater about forbidden sex and unchanneled lust in New England’s 18th century Shaker community. More…

Featuring traditional Shaker songs and a mix of modern dance and actual Shaker movements, 'Angel Reapers' captures the soul of the Shakers, an early American religious sect who sought to connect with God through ecstatic ritual and strict celibacy. While the congregants strive desperately to maintain divine purity, the needs of the flesh threaten to take hold. With text by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Alfred Uhry, 'Angel Reapers' is a theatrical collage about the glorious love of the divine and the overwhelming desire for human connection.

Member Reviews (35)


Great staging, Original, Disappointing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Ambitious, Slow, Quirky, Visually thrilling, Fascinating

See it if You are a fan of contemporary dance, are a bit curious about the Shakers, like stories told thru dance and exciting images

Don't see it if You expect shows to be meaty and content-filled, you expect a clear through line and is easy to follow, are bored by chanting and ritual

Dance 10 play 3: dance without compelling dialogue or songs fails to shed light on inner life of shaker characters

See it if you enjoy inventive choreography, skilled dancing and dresses designed to billow out to make the women look like angels

Don't see it if you want to see dance integrated into a show that provides insight on individual Shaker characters, to engage audience; this doesn't

Original, Story mainly told through dance, Intelligent, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You know a little about the Shakers: the show won't explain the history. You enjoy dance. You like shows w/religious themes.

Don't see it if You don't like dance. You have no interest in religion. You want a show with more dialogue. You want a history story.

Original, Dizzying, Physical, Experimental

See it if you enjoy experimental theatre without a clear narrative, or you're interested in an "old world" kind of atmosphere.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy experimental theatre.

Absorbing, Great staging, Masterful, Original

See it if You love high-spirited Quaker dancing. Love shows at the Joyce Theater. These actors are top-notch.

Don't see it if You don't like dance shows.

Ambitious, Smart, Great choreography,, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy dance and can enjoy a piece without a strong plot or characterization. The staging is stunning.

Don't see it if you are very conventional in what you like to see.

Original, Quirky, Slow, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You like experimental work with an interesting setting.

Don't see it if You want your theater with a firm through line and strong story.

Intense, Absorbing, Confusing

See it if you want an intense production. Complex choreography steal the show. Study the history of Shakers to make full sense of the show.

Don't see it if like dancing and/or religious themed plays.

Intelligent, Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if you don't mind having lots of questions when a show is over. While it did transport me, I wanted to know more about the Shakers.

Don't see it if you don't like experimental theater. Or if you need clear story at all times.

Disappointing, Quirky, Slow

See it if you like performance art

Don't see it if want to hear dialogue and enjoy a plot and conclusion.

Absorbing, Great staging, Masterful, Thought-provoking

See it if Shaker hymns set to dance. experience a variety of people who enter the shaker village. Read the playbill before so each is clear. dance

Don't see it if generally not a dance fan, i enjoyed this piece. it can get loud and covertly sexual.

Great staging, Non-traditional, Masterful, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if you like theatrical risk-taking; an untraditional way to explore the Shakers. Lots of movement, Some singing. Not a narrative.

Don't see it if you like narratives, don't like unconventional presentations, don't like religious themes

Ambitious, Confusing, Dreadful, Cliched

See it if you would enjoy decent-enough dancing and vocals and don't mind minimal plot and a lack of character development

Don't see it if you like plot or shows where you can tell the characters apart or if you want any message more complicated than Shakers thinking sex is evil

Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you are a Shaker or if you want to be bored to tears for an hour or so,

Don't see it if You can see anything else instead.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Intense, Original, Slow

See it if you are not familiar with the Shaker community. Be that fly on the wall to experience their lifestyle. Would like more character development

Don't see it if you don't enjoy contemporary presentations. Very little dialogue. More observational and dance driven than specific storyline.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great staging, Quirky, Original

See it if You like movement to tell a story.

Don't see it if if you don't like dance.

Disappointing, Confusing, Edgy, Great staging, Intense

See it if You want to see a show and don't want to think about anything. This is a very intense show with clever interpretive dancing.

Don't see it if You want to see a show with a strong storyline. There isn't much of a story and all of it is through interpretive dancing.

Confusing, Slow, Unsuccessful

See it if if you are a student of Shaker dancing which was really good and dominated the production

Don't see it if you like a plot

Intense, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Insightful, Educational

See it if You love to learn while attending a show You like multi-disciplinary productions (music, dance, acting)

Don't see it if You like linear timelines for a story Have no interest in learning about the Shakers Don't like your mediums mixed

Original, Great staging, Intense, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you like unconventional theater, more focused on movement and imagery than dialogue (although there is dialogue and song).

Don't see it if you demand straightforward storytelling and you need comedy, or at least some comic relief.

Quirky, Great staging, Ambitious, Great choreography

See it if you enjoy dancing, singing, and visual stimulation. Want to learn a bit about the Shakers.

Don't see it if enjoy a plot and conclusion. get bored by chanting and repetition

Intelligent, Masterful, Intense, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see incredible talent, gorgeous evocative choreography and a challenging subject matter

Don't see it if You aren't ready to be uncomfortable or if you don't want to think

Absorbing, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Original

See it if You love beautiful, thought provoking, non-traditional theater.

Don't see it if You only like naturalistic dramas.

Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if Seldom is a show as dull as this production. Dancing so repetitive; acting not so hot. The subject matter not that interesting. Sorry.

Don't see it if you want to open your mind and expect to see a revelation of some sort about the Shakers.

Intense, Excruciating, Great staging

See it if if you want to see intense emotions expressed almost entirely through dance and music.

Don't see it if you want fun and something comforting.

February 22nd, 2016
"Dialogue is spare here, and plot even more so. Ms. Clarke’s choreography takes precedence, along with traditional Shaker songs, sung a cappella...There is transparent beauty to the choreography...It’s hard to overstate the importance of design in this production, where Christopher Akerlind’s cle...
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February 23rd, 2016
"Martha Clarke's movement-theater portrait of 18th-century Shakers arrives in a storm of stamping dances and lovely a cappella song...Clarke seems a strange match for the puritanical Shakers, but the sect's celibacy actually stokes her flames...The ecstatic dancing turns, in her hands, into repre...
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February 22nd, 2016
"Experimental choreographer Martha Clarke and Southern playwright Alfred Uhry may sound like an unlikely pair of collaborators, but Clarke's eye for abstract movement blended with Uhry's sense of Americana well suits their hybrid piece 'Angel Reapers'...More an atmospheric piece than a plot-drive...
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February 24th, 2016
"At seventy minutes, 'Angel Reapers' is light on drama and conflict, save for making the point that the separation of the genders works against the natural urges some would consider another gift. Clarke's mix of contemporary dance with traditional Shaker movement is finely showcased, but while th...
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