Doubt: A popular theme played out on stage
Submitted column courtesy of Civic Theatre
In some circumstances, we may never learn the truth. The feelings of uncertainty and ambiguity have been a common topic in pop culture, such as in the renowned podcast “Serial” and the explosive Netflix series “Making a Murderer.” It is part of human nature to obsess over uncovering the truth and bringing the guilty to justice. However, quick judgments and corruption can be disastrous for the wrongly accused, while not acting on a suspicion can be just as catastrophic for an innocent bystander.
This theme is prevalent in Civic Theatre’s fourth Mainstage production this season, “Doubt: A Parable.” John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning dramatic play first appeared off-Broadway in 2004, eventually making it to the Great White Way in 2005. In 2008, it was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis.
Each season, Civic Theatre strives to produce a thought-provoking, intellectual play that challenges audiences to think differently about their surrounding environment. “Doubt” accomplishes this mission with the story of a Catholic school in the Bronx during the fall of 1964. It is the story of tradition and vigilance seen in the school’s principal, Sister Aloysius, questioning the motives behind progression and acceptance as presented by the parish priest, Father Flynn.
“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,” stated playwright Shanley. “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.”
DOUBT: A PARABLE runs Feb. 5- 14. Visit www.civictheatre.org for more details.