Church Hill Theatre
Church Hill, Maryland – September 18, 2017
“This production of Doubt is a must-see for anyone who enjoys serious, thought-provoking drama.” says local reviewer, Peter Heck. Doubt, A Parable, the Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning drama by John Patrick Shanley, has one final weekend at Church Hill Theatre.
Since the play runs without an intermission, the director, Michael Whitehill, offers audiences the unusual opportunity to linger after each performance in order to discuss the production with the cast and crew. These sessions have been lively and well attended so far, with at least half the audience remaining at each performance. Dramaturges Christopher Wallace and Patrick Fee have assembled a great deal of information that can be viewed at doubt.churchhilltheatre.org before the performance.At its core, Doubt asks audiences to ponder the many meanings of truth: factual, moral, situational, cultural and generational. The immediate question is whether a Catholic priest acted inappropriately toward a child in his care, but the drama digs deeper, investigating issues of race and class and asking how far a person may go to achieve justice.
The story takes place in a Bronx parochial school in the 1960s. John Haas plays Father Brendan Flynn, a progressive parish priest who favors racial integration and more liberal social attitudes. The school’s principal, Sister Aloysius (Kathy Jones) is rigid, conservative and deeply mistrustful of her colleagues, her students and the whole of modern society. A young nun, Sister James (Kendall Davis) is caught in the middle when she observes – or misinterprets – an interaction between Father Flynn and the school’s first African-American student.While the boy’s mother, Mrs. Muller (Barbi Bedell) sees nothing wrong with the alleged contact, Sister Aloysius confronts the priest and escalates the conflict. The audience is left swinging from argument to argument, debating each character’s motivation, searching for the truth, but encountering only more doubt. Heck noted that director Michael Whitehill, “has assembled a strong cast, and they make the most of the challenging script.”
Doubt, A Parable will run through September 24th, 2017 with performances at 8 pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, with special prices for groups of ten or more. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at www.churchhilltheatre.org
Photos: SG Atkinson)