'Doubt: A Parable' at Cotuit Center for the Arts
Cotuit Center for the Arts presents Doubt, opening April 5.
Cotuit Center for the Arts presents John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play, “Doubt: A Parable,” April 5, through April 22. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday at 8 PM and Sunday at 4 PM. The play is directed by Joan Edstrom.
Tickets are $22, $19 for seniors, $17 for members, and $15 for students. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. Call 508-428-0669 or visit ArtsOnTheCape.org for tickets.
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 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 Edstom would never tell. That is the power of the play, she said, the examination of doubt. As Father Flynn says in a sermon: “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty.”
Author 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."
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, and she relates to much of the content, having been raised in the Catholic Church.
The audience will have the opportunity to chat with the director and cast members during an informal reception after each performance. A cash bar will be available.
Edstrom, who lives in Falmouth, has been directing theater for 35 years. President of the Woods Hole Theater Company, she recently directed “Rabbit Hole” there. She has always wanted to direct a show at Cotuit Center for the Arts because of its excellent facilities.
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.”