'Doubt' Comes to Cotuit Center for the Arts
By: iO Staff, April 3, 2012
The year is 1964, and the setting is a Catholic school in the Bronx, New York. Rigidly conservative Sister Aloysius, the school principal, faces off against young Father Flynn, a personable and progressive parish priest, as she begins to suspect Father Flynn of improper relations with Donald Muller, the only black student in the school.
Donald’s mother, Mrs. Muller is conflicted, knowing that going to this school is her son’s only chance for eventually going to college. Sister James is a naïve young nun who does not know whom to believe—and neither does the audience.
Is Father Flynn guilty or falsely accused? Even if she knew the answer, director Joan Edstom would never tell. The power of the play, she says, lies in the examination of doubt.
Author John Patrick Shanley says, “It's really a story about making assumptions about people and gradually noticing your own assumptions and that they're not sufficient to carry you through the story. You have to start to rethink and then rethink again what you think of this person, which is sort of my experience in life."
As Father Flynn says in a sermon: “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty.”
If you go...
Doubt: A ParableCotuit Center for the Arts 4409 Falmouth Road (Rt. 28) Cotuit
Performances are Thursday through Sunday from April 5 to April 22 at 8 PM, with an additional Sunday matinee at 4 PM.
Tickets are $22, $19 for seniors, $17 for members, and $15 for students. Special half-price discount for the Easter Sunday matinee!
Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. Call 508-428-0669 or visit ArtsOnTheCape.org for tickets.
The audience will have the opportunity to chat with the director and cast members during an informal reception at the Cotuit Center’s cash bar after each performance.
Edstrom sees the play as a conflict of the old and new forces in the Catholic Church taking place at the time of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council. Having been raised as a Catholic, she says she relates to much of the content.
Filling big shoes
Edstrom, who lives in Falmouth, has been directing theater for 35 years and currently serves as president of the Woods Hole Theater Company.
Rick Martin of Falmouth is Father Flynn, Cathy Smith of Falmouth is Sister Aloysius, Bronwen Prosser of Woods Hole is Sister James, and Brandy Power of Bourne as Mrs. Miller. This is Power’s first play; the others have considerable acting experience on the Cape.
“Doubt” was made into a movie in 2008, directed by the author and starring Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Father Flynn. The movie was nominated for several Academy awards. Shanley won an Oscar in 1987 for his screenplay for “Moonstruck.”