Through October 9
DOUBT, A PARABLE Andrews Theatre/Irish Classical Theatre Company
It’s not a secret that people in religious positions can take advantage of their roles for power or sex in life.
It runs across the religious spectrum.
With "Doubt, A Parable," playwright John Patrick Shanley focuses on an individual Catholic parochial school in the Bronx, a school run by a rigid principal, Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Josie DiVincenzo).
St. Nicholas has 371 White students and one Black student.
The principal tells the young teacher of that one Black student that the very popular parish priest, Fr. Flynn (Steve Copps), is getting too friendly with the Black student.
That teacher, Sister James (Solange Gosselin) finds it hard to believe that a priest would be doing what today we call “grooming” a student.
Obviously, we know a lot more today about what the principal is suggesting.
Just up Main Street from the Irish Classical is the Catholic Center and across the street is the section of public sidewalk where lawyers suing the Catholic Diocese and victims would talk about their cases and name the priests they said molested them.
We know it happened, happened a lot.
Sister James likes the priest and can’t believe what the principal is suggesting or in those more benighted days doesn’t understand what is being mooted.
Complicating the story is the mother of that one student, Mrs. Muller (Davida Evette Tolbert), who wants that priestly support because she knows her son is “that way” and his father routinely beats him because of it.
She wants her son to graduate from St. Nicholas because it would put him in a better high school and maybe make it on to college where his sexual orientation would be less of an issue.
As you could guess, the story ultimately comes down to priest and nun.
In keeping with the Catholic Church of the time, they both win.
“Doubt, A Parable” is a look at its time and human weakness.
It’s not pleasant. However, “Doubt” is very well done, with strong performances from DiVincenzo and Copps.
Director Victoria Pérez does a good job with Sheila M. López’ confined set of Sister Aloysius’ office.
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