Intrigue, uncertainty and a whole lot of doubt have hit the stage as part of a new drama at Langham Court Theatre.
Doubt, a parable is a play originally written by John Shanley in 2005, in reference to his experience as a student in Catholic school, and was turned into an Academy-award-nominated film featuring Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams three years later.
The play is set in a catholic school in the Bronx in 1964 and is about a priest, Father Flynn, played by Vic West actor Wayne Yercha, who meets one-on-one with the school’s first African-American student.
After much gossip and innuendos, Sister Aloysuis, played by Fran Patterson, accuses him of sexual misconduct.
“By the end of the play, we really don’t know if he’s guilty or not,” said Don Keith, who is both the director and set designer. “It really just destroys everyone in the play. It leaves people really wondering.”
The set is designed to be as confusing as the affect the play leaves on audiences.
There are no square corners, everything is on an angle and is done in one uniform colour, illuminated by different lighting. It also sits on a revolving stage that moves constantly as actors weave through the story.
Keith said the theme is one that resonates with audiences and forces them to reflect on themselves.
“Everything is a metaphor for something else. This (play) reaches deep into our soul and makes us think about ourselves, whether we’re Catholic or not,” he said. “It stays with you for a long time and is very satisfying because your intellect is involved.”
Yercha said the 95-minute play allows the small four-member cast to develop into strong, believable characters.
“You really have a feel for who the characters are,” he said, adding they had an advisor from the local cathedral come in for accuracy. “It’s really timely. As a society, we want things tied up, but in life, few things are black and white. Life is uncertain and this play brings that out and we have to find a way to live with that uncertainty without judging it all the time.”
Doubt, a parable is on at Langham Court Theatre until Friday, Dec. 5. For tickets visit langhamtheatre.ca.