Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Discover Doubt: A Parable with Insights from the Cast

On February 21, Montana Repertory Theatre will tackle faith, trust, mendacity, friendship and the Church with a deft and insightful touch at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center with Doubt:A Parable. 

It’s 1964 and the impressionable Sister James reports a dubious exchange between a young student and the charismatic Father Flynn to the strict principal of St. Nicholas Church School. Sister Aloysius, unsatisfied by an elementary explanation, seeks the truth within a cloak of suspicion, mistrust and doubt woven together in a Tony® Award-winning play by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright John Patrick Shanley.

Here’s what the cast has to say about Doubt!

Q. Doubt deals with some very serious accusations. How much of the play really focuses on allegations within the Church? 

Caitlin Mcrae While the story of Doubt: A Parable takes place within the Catholic Church, it serves as an illustration of the reality that we, as humans, are often quick to assign blame and judgment. Or, on the opposite side of the argument, we avoid taking a stance. We avoid speaking up for fear of being wrong, and, in doing so, we risk allowing dire problems to continue.

Q. Doubt is largely a character drama, pitting Father Flynn against Sister Aloysius. Which character do you think the audience connects with most? 

Sarina Hart I personally believe the character that audiences will connect with the most is Sister James. She is the audience's voice in the show. Her struggle with the situation is what the audience itself is going through.

Brendan Shanahan Sister Aloysius has that voice of suspicion then accusation before the audience hears anything to the contrary and they, for the most part, go right along with her. Once that seed of doubt is implanted in their minds it’s hard to change it. However, there is a good portion of the audience that will be pulled in both directions along with Sister James from scene to scene, which is what makes this play so good.

Q. How does preparing for a national tour differ from producing a show for your home theater?

Brendan Shanahan Touring is unique in that we don't just come to the theater, perform the show and go home. We work and live with the company members and that's really where the term “theater family” becomes very tangible. And with this particular, thought provoking play, it will be fascinating to see the differing reactions from region to region.

Q. How do you hope audience will react to this play?

Sarina Hart I hope they gasp with astonishment. I hope they shake their heads with incredulity. But mostly, I hope they leave the theater without having their mind made up. 

Brendan Shanahan Applause and standing ovations, of course. I hope the audience is willing to think about and discuss the larger themes of the play. Not just "did he do it or not."
Without a doubt, this play will have you on the edge of your seat! To learn more, visit

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