March 23-25 & March 30-April 1
directed by Hallie Flower
DOUBT: A PARABLE
When Doubt: A Parable first garnered attention, I found myself resistant. I did not wish to travel through another play about sexual abuse. But then I actually read the piece. Though the play happens within the territory of abuse in the church, this is NOT what the play is about. This is an exploration of the experience of doubt. What damage is wrought by certainty? What strength do we find in not knowing? What change and growth is possible through the full discomfort of doubt. If we do our job with this script, audiences should find themselves on a ride of uncertainty – in a continuous state of questioning what is to be believed; which direction to turn. It is the sensation of the ride and the difficulty of creating that possibility with care, which draws me to this work.
By John Patrick Shanley
We are living in a culture of extreme advocacy, of confrontation, of judgment, and of verdict. Discussion has given way to debate. Communication has become a contest of wills… maybe it’s because deep down under the chatter we have come to a place where we know that we don’t know… anything. But nobody’s willing to say that.
It is Doubt (so often experienced initially as weakness) that changes things. When a man feels unsteady, when he falters, when hard-won knowledge evaporates before his eyes, he’s on the verge of growth… Doubt is nothing less than an opportunity to re-enter the Present.
There is an uneasy time when belief has begun to slip but hypocrisy has yet to take hold, when the consciousness is disturbed but not yet altered. It is the most dangerous, important, and ongoing experience of life. The beginning of change is the moment of Doubt. It is that crucial moment when I renew my humanity or become a lie.
Doubt requires more courage than conviction does, and more energy; because conviction is a resting place and Doubt is infinite – it is a passionate exercise. You may come out of my play uncertain. You may want to be sure. Look down on that feeling. We’ve got to learn to live with a full measure of uncertainty. There is no last word. That’s the silence under the chatter of our time.
John Patrick Shanley has written a long list of plays and film scripts… though is perhaps still better known for his 1987 script Moonstruck. Other notable stage projects are Defiance, Savage In Limbo, Women of Manhattan, and Italian American Reconciliation. Born in the Bronx and educated in the catholic school system.
DOUBT: A PARABLE
What the Critics Said about the Broadway Production
The best play of the year, bar none. Doubt is a great–let's repeat, great–new drama. Driven by strong conflict and crafted with subtlety, Shanley's writing is incisive, insightful and masterfully controlled. Taut, yet thoughtful, the writing is direct and swift as an arrow. This is enthralling theater and should not be missed.
––John Simon, New York magazine
The number 1 show of the year. A terrific, marvelous new play with astonishing theatricality. Doubt wakes up the slumbering theater season, jolting the audience with a tough, timely story, rich in character, language and ideas. Doubt is Shanley's best play in years.
––Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press
All the elements come invigoratingly together like clockwork in John Patrick Shanley's provocative new play, Doubt, a gripping story of suspicion cast on a priest's behavior that is less about scandal than about fascinatingly nuanced questions of moral certainty. Something rare for this season: a laudable new American play.
––David Rooney, Variety
One of the year's 10 best. Moral certainty never seemed so suspect as in John Patrick Shanley's evocative and beautifully crafted thriller.
––David Cote, TimeOut New York