Opening November 1st, An Other Theater Company will be presenting John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt: A Parable. In this electric, award-winning play, Catholic nun Sister Aloysius suspects that the charismatic Father Flynn may be taking advantage of a student, and she begins a journey to uncover the truth. But the system is designed to protect Father Flynn, and without hard evidence, how can anyone be sure of his innocence? How can the truth be found between competing feelings of faith and doubt?
As the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements continue to make predators more accountable, the play is more relevant than ever before. It’s one of the many reasons An Other Theater decided to add the show to its season. “The intimacy of our space lends a certain electricity to the words,” says Kacey Spadafora, co-artistic director of the theater, who also plays Father Flynn. “The show becomes immediate. And impossible to escape. And, more whimsically, AOTC’s church pews literally put the audience in a very thematically appropriate setting.”
The church pews are fitting for a number of reasons–Utah has its own religious monolith. There are undeniable parallels between the world of the play and the world of Provo, Utah. Alexis Boss, who plays the innocent Sister James, notes that “Doubt is an uncomfortable topic in our culture, and I think this show confronts it dead on.”
But at its core, Doubt is not a critique of any religion. Its subtitle is “A Parable.” It’s a story that allows audiences to explore their own relationship with truth and how they arrive at it. And the result is stunning. The play won the 2005 Pulitzer prize for drama, was nominated for 8 Tony awards, and won 4 of them, including Best Play. The 2008 film adaptation was nominated for 5 Academy Awards. In the 14 years since its opening night, Doubt has become a powerful part of the American theatre canon. “It is such a tightly-written play,” says director Taylor Jack Nelson. “It flows like a mystery thriller, but there is so much at stake in the truth that these characters are trying to either uncover or conceal. It has been a privilege bringing this story to life with such a talented team of artists.”
The play marks the second production in the company’s third season which, along the lines of the theater’s mission statement, focuses heavily on stories led by women and the LGBTQ community. Some other shows in the season include Safe by local playwright Chelsea Hickman, Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, and The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer.
Doubt runs Fridays and Saturdays November 1st through the 23rd at 7:30pm in AOTC’s blackbox theater in the Provo Towne Centre Mall. There will also be one Sunday performance on November 17th at 5:00pm.
Tickets are $12-$15 online and $14-$17 at the door. Opening night tickets are pick-your-price, and free tickets are available throughout the run for those who cannot afford them through AOTC’s Play-It-Forward program. For details on this program, or to buy tickets, visit anothertheater.org.
About An Other Theater Company:
An Other Theater Company seeks to provide and promote theatrical pieces of art that are unique, fresh, empathetic, and inclusive; to foster and promote creative talent within the community; and to provide a voice to many who are overlooked in the mainstream theatre scene, including stipulations in its season selection process to highlight works by and about women as well as the LGBTQ community.