BWW Review: DOUBT at The Adobe Theatre
The Pulitzer Prize winning play Doubt - A Parable, by John Patrick Shanley, is now playing at The Adobe Theatre. Set in the 1960's, Doubt explores the dynamic story of Father Flynn, a well-liked progressive parish priest at St. Nicholas Church School in the Bronx, who is accused of a horrible crime by Sister Aloysius, a conservative nun and principal of the school. In an effort to protect her students, Sister Aloysius enlists the help of a younger nun, Sister James, to ensure nothing improper is going on. Based solely on her unfounded suspicions, Sister Aloysius begins a campaign to have Father Flynn removed from his duties at the church and school - at any cost.
According to director Nancy Sellin, Doubt - A Parable has, "relevance to today's world [that] can't be denied. In our divided culture, absolute certainty seems almost outdated. Today we question everything - and everyone... The closed door of certainly leaves no room for compassion of diverse points of view." The themes of doubt or questioning what one is told as well as the importance of having compassion towards one another are brought to the forefront in a thought-provoking and poignant way by a phenomenal cast of four brilliant actors.
As Sister Aloysius Beauvier, Stephanie Jones gives a raw and powerful performance, expressing the strength of her character's convictions as Sister Aloysius tries to do what she believes is best, despite any and all consequences. The final scene of the play, wherein Sister Aloysius breaks down as she expresses her own doubt at the proceedings, is one that will stick with the audience for days to come. As Mrs. Muller, the mother of the only African-American boy at St. Nicholas Church School - and the student at the center of the play's controversy - gives an incredible performance in her Albuquerque theatre debut as she expresses the internal conflict her character has, trying to do the best she can for her son under less than desirable circumstances. Sarah Kesselring gives a fantastic performance as Sister James, expressing her character's doubt and conflict as to whether she should follow Sister Aloysius' requests or her own beliefs through impactful facial expressions and body language. As Father Flynn, Eric John Werner gives a commanding performance, making the audience sympathize with his character while doubting the motivations his character has for befriending some of the students at the same time.
Through a series of raw and powerful performances, Doubt - A Parable is a play that leaves an impact on the audience, staying with them long after the production is over. Doubt - A Parable runs from February 21st - March 15th, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. General Admission is $20, with Student and Seniors tickets at $17. There is an additional PWYW performance Thursday, March 12th at 7:30 PM. Tickets can be purchased by calling (50) 898-9222 or at https://www.adobetheater.org/tickets/. As a note, the play is 1 hour and 30 minutes long, with no intermission.
Image source: Dan Ware