The JBS Players will present John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt: A Parable at 7:30 pm, Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, in Salomon Black Box Theatre. In 2005, Doubt won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. It garnered a total of eight Tony nominations, including a Best Featured Actress nomination for JBS alum Heather Goldenhersh O'Byrne ’91, who made her Broadway debut in the role of Sister James.
The play is set in the St. Nicholas School, a Catholic school in the Bronx. The year is 1964: America is still reeling from the assassination of JFK, and Catholicism is struggling to adjust to the changes wrought by the Second Vatican Council. We are introduced to Father Flynn (Nick Kime ’18), a charismatic young priest who has fully embraced the winds of change sweeping though the country and the church. His progressive views, however, are not shared by Sister Aloysius (Kaitlyn Wallace ’18), a conservative nun and the long-time principal of the school. Her mistrust of Flynn rises to a new level when a conversation with a young and impressionable teacher, Sister James (Ella Schmidt ’18) leads her to believe that the priest has engaged in inappropriate conduct with a boy, the school’s first and only African-American student. Though she has no evidence of wrongdoing, Aloysius has no doubt. Armed only with her certainty, she decides she must protect the student by bringing down the priest. The church, however, is not a democracy, and the male hierarchy of the institution gives Aloysius little authority, and so she turns to other women, but Sister James doubts the motives of her principal, and the boy’s mother, Mrs. Muller (Tolu Ogunremi ’17), sees Father Flynn as the only man who has ever helped and cared for her son.
Doubt: A Parable touches on issues of politics, race, gender, sexual identity, and, of course, doubt. The play’s conclusion will leave the audience with their own doubts, not only about what has or has not occurred, but also about whether or not uncertainty has a place in an institution of faith.
The JBS production is directed by John Pierson (Theatre, Speech & Dance). Audrey Jones ’18 is the production stage manager, and she is assisted by Sophie Sinton ’20. Scenic and lighting design is by Brian Connor (Theatre, Speech & Dance), and costumes are by resident guest designer Carla Landis Evans.
General admission tickets are $10 and will go on sale on Friday, April 28, in the JBS bookstore. Tickets will also be available at the door, but because seating is limited, please consider buying in advance.