November 8, 2012

Doubt: A Parable

(click on any image to see larger size)

I had the great fortune to attend a production of Doubt: A Parable, a 2004 play by John Patrick Shanley. To say I enjoyed the play would not be the right word to use. It is not a theme to be enjoyed. A nun suspects a priest of molesting an altar boy.

To give some indication of how I feel about the play, before it started, a woman came on the stage and announced that the play was 90 minutes with no intermission. I thought, "Oh, my God! I'll never make it!" The play started and the next thing I knew, it was over. It had gone by in a flash and I had been riveted to my seat the whole time. I was blown away.

The cast turned in stellar performances and the production was a brilliant example of economy of lighting, staging, timing, set and dialogue.

 The set for Doubt: A Parable as designed by Marion Williams
 Chapel Hill, NC in 2008
photographer unknown

The interesting thing is the word, molested, is never used. The theme is a study of intolerance and bigotry. The irony is that the production was scheduled to be performed at San Francisco's Our Lady of Lourdes Church. It was not performed because it was banned by the Arch-Bishop. Life imitating art?

The performers:

Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Jean Wilcox)
Father Brendan Flynn (Aaron Murphy)
Sister James (Loretta Casalaina)
Mrs. Muller (Mary Chapman)

Jean Wilcox left                                              Aaron Murphy
 Loretta Casalaina right                               photographer unknown
photo by Joe Casalaina                                                                

John Patrick Shanley
Doubt: A Parable author
photobrapher unknown

This production was sponsored by

Directed by Clive Worsley
Gail Wetherbee, producer
Carol Hill, stage manager

Doubt: A Parable won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play.

Congratulations to all of those involved in staging an outstanding production. It was a tight little gem of theater you dream of seeing performed.

Styrous ~ November 8, 2012



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