With my Free Night of Theater ticket, I decided to check out Doubt, A Parable last night at WaterTower Theatre. Truth be told, I’m kind of a movie buff at heart, so I was mostly excited about seeing it ahead of the film version, which opens here in December.
Our own Jerome Weeks already provided the review of the show, and he’s more qualified than I in that endeavor, so I’ll leave the critical talk to him. But last night after the performance, the actors and director Terry Martin conducted a Talk Back session, and that provided some additional insight for me. Among the interesting nuggets:
— One audience member suggested that the play is particularly timely in an election year. John Patrick Shanley writes in the notes on the play about the importance of doubt in our thinking, and how it’s in times of doubt that new ideas can be considered, whereas certainty is a stagnant place to be. In a political climate in which everything seems to be about whether or not the team’s we’ve picked win, that sounds like a novel idea.
— Regan Adair, who plays the is-he-or-isn’t-he Father Flynn, said during the Talk Back that he forced himself to make a decision as to the priest’s innocence or guilt. And…? Well, he wasn’t going to tell us, and that was fine with me. But it was interesting to hear him talk about the necessity for him to decide, saying it would be difficult to embody the character if he didn’t know what was really motivating the character’s actions.
— Finally, Terry Martin pointed out something that i hadn’t really considered while watching the action — all four of the characters in the play have Donald’s, the boy in question, best interest in mind and are working to help him in their own way. It’s in watching how the characters do what they think will help the boy most that the real questions arise.
If you haven’t seen the show yet, it’s well worth your time. And if you are planning on going, I’d suggest shooting for this Sunday, when the next Talk Back is planned.