Julie Binysh and Megan McGery in BLT’s November 2015 In The Bar production of Doubt: A Parable, directed by Mike Darbon.
In The Bar Thurs 19 – Sun 22 November 2015 at 7.45pm
Doubt: A Parable
by John Patrick Shanley
Directed by Mike Darbon
John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt: A Parable, enjoyed huge success when first performed winning the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play; in fact, it is the most decorated play on Broadway, with a total of 24 awards to its name. Three years later, it became a major film, starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis, earning Oscar nominations for all four actors, as well as the writer for Best Adapted Screenplay.
It is almost impossible to think about Doubt without being aware of the context in which it is written – that is, post-9/11 America. Shanley sets his play in 1964, when an equally traumatised America is still trying to come to terms with the assassination of President Kennedy the year before. Sister Aloysius Beauvier, principal of St. Nicholas School in the heart of the Bronx, believes in the use of fear and discipline to control both her pupils, and her staff, at the school. Parish priest and popular teacher, Father Flynn, follows a different creed and a more relaxed approached to education. When the young and impressionable Sister James shares her suspicion with Sister Aloysius that Father Flynn might be paying too much attention to 12 year-old Donald Muller, new to the school and its only black pupil, she sets off a battle of wills between nun and priest that becomes a full-on crusade on the part of the hard-line Sister to rid the school of the liberal-minded Father.
The backdrop of Doubt is the Catholic sex abuse scandals of the last two decades, but Shanley’s characters cannot be so easily pegged, nor is this play simply yet another indictment of alleged misdemeanours within the Catholic Church. Only one thing is for certain; the audience will leave the theatre filled with as much doubt as to the conclusion as the characters in it.
Father Flynn : Matthew Platt
Sister Aloysius : Julie Binysh
Sister James : Megan McGery
Mrs. Muller : Maxine Edwards
“There is no last word. That’s the silence under the chatter of our time”.
– John Patrick Shanley