Friday, May 9, 2008

Staged Reading Series Review: Doubt: A Parable

As Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's inaugural staged reading series comes to a close on Tuesday, May 13, with Lonely Planet, we'll do a brief overview about the previous readings this week. To date, there have been four nights of staged readings and five scripts read during the 2007-2008 season. Each was performed in the Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette on the Tuesday after the opening night for each Civic MainStage production.

Doubt: A Parable
by John Patrick Shanley was directed by Thea Strand and read February 5, 2008. It was presented with The Crucible.

Set in a Bronx Catholic school in the early 1960s, the action of the play begins when Sister James expresses her concerns to Sister Aloysius about what she suspects is inappropriate conduct between the much-liked Father Flynn and a young male student. Sister Aloysius insists that Father Flynn confess his wrongdoing, while Father Flynn insists there was no improper contact with the boy, the only black student in the school. Sister Aloysius then speaks with Mrs. Muller, the student’s mother, who responds in an unusual way to her accusations. The finale of the script offers no substantial proof of whether Father Flynn was guilty of wrongdoing or if Sister Aloysius was incorrect in her assumptions.

While the action of the play is set in the context of clergy sexual abuse, the theme of the play is about the nature of doubt and what people do either to rid themselves of it or to promote it in others. As with the staged readings for Home of the Brave and Love Letters, a lively Q&A session followed the staged reading.

The cast for the staged reading of Doubt: A Parable was:

Sister Aloysius — Alice Schwind
Sister James — Julia Colby
Father Flynn — Alan Hertz
Mrs. Muller — Shirl Donaldson

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