John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, A Parable is next in line for Wayne State University’s Studio Theatre season. Due to ongoing Studio Theatre renovations, Doubt will be performed at the Hilberry Rehearsal Studio, located at 480 W. Hancock Street on the fourth floor of Old Main.
Doubt is the story of Sister Aloysius, a strict Catholic school principal from the Bronx, who suspects Father Flynn, the new, well-liked, charismatic priest, of having an improper relationship with one of the male students. She will stop at nothing to have Father Flynn removed from the parish. But her suspicions may not be correct and she has reason to doubt. Doubt, A Parable is less about scandal and more about moral uncertainty; it leaves audiences feeling unsure of what “the truth” really is. “Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty,” says the character of Father Flynn.
The school in Doubt is modeled after the Catholic school that John Patrick Shanley attended, where he was taught by the Sisters of Charity. In January, the cast and director of Doubt had the opportunity to visit Caritas Christi, the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. They were given a presentation about the Sisters of Charity and were able to ask questions pertaining to their roles in the play.
Annabelle Young, who plays Sister Aloysius, noted, “The experience was amazing. The Sisters were incredibly helpful and friendly. We were constantly laughing and having fun, while learning what it means to be a Sister of Charity. Before I went on the trip I was feeling very nervous about taking on the role of Sister Aloysius, but after talking with the Sisters I feel I have the understanding to start my journey with the role.” Andrick Siegmund, who plays Father Flynn, added, “To be a student and have the ability to do some real, professional research the way we did was a surreal experience. I learned more than I could have hoped for on that trip.”
All photography by Richard L. Fosbrink.