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2005 Tony Awards Q&A: John Patrick Shanley

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Doubt is author John Patrick Shanley's first play to be produced on Broadway, and is nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. His other theatrical credits include Sailor's Song, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Cellini, Savage in Limbo, the dreamer examines his pillow, Beggars in the House of Plenty, Welcome to the Moon, Four Dogs and a Bone, Italian American Reconciliation, Missing/Kissing and The Big Funk. For film, Shanley's many credits include winning the 1988 Oscar for his screenplay of Moonstruck. Other film credits include Alive, January Man and Joe Versus the Volcano.

The past few months have been a whirlwind of accolades for Doubt, what's the center of that storm been like?

Well, I really enjoyed winning the Pulitzer. I won an Academy Award back in 88, and a Dramatists Guild Award, but in New York though, I've never won or been nominated in 25 years for the Tony (Primarily of course because it's the first one that we've brought to Broadway)! It's kind of exciting to suddenly have all this stuff be showered upon me for one show. It's almost funny in a way…

Better late than never though…

True, it is better later than never, but it's not that late. I wasn't tapping my foot or anything, because I enjoy what I do, it's just a bit anomalous, that we got as many nominations and awards for this one show.

Which I'm sure has made it a very satisfying experience?

The whole experience has been very satisfying, because I'm extremely interested in the subject matter, and the milieu, and in the time and place that I set the play in. I've reconnected to my own past in many ways as a result of doing the show. My first grade school teacher, Sister James, who still teaches, has come back and was my guest at my opening night, and that's kind of sweet and nice. I've gone up to Riverdale, and spoken to the Sisters of Charity at their invitation, which was also quite an experience. I've heard from a lot of nuns and clergy who have both liked the play, and these people have given a lot of their lives to other people – which makes them great people, so that's been a nice bonus.

How thrilled are you that the whole cast has been nominated as well?

It's really great that all four people were nominated, because otherwise, it'd be hell backstage! Somebody would be brave, and would probably kill everybody.

What else do you have in the pipeline at the moment?

At the moment, I've written a new play , and we're negotiating to do a movie of Doubt, so that's where things are at for me at the moment – happy to be here!


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