John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt: A Parable” won the Tony Award for Best Play and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama before being made into a major motion picture starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Now this powerful drama will make its way to the Tybee Post Theater with Savannah Community Theatre Feb. 1 to 3.
Local favorite and Savannah Community Theatre founder, Tom Coleman III, will direct this impressive lineup of local actors. He is actually stepping in for injured director Carl Rosengart, but Rosengart has remained plugged in to help bring this show to Tybee audiences.
“Doubt: A Parable" is set in the fictional St. Nicholas Church School in the Bronx, N.Y., during fall 1964. Sister Aloysius, the school principal, takes matters into her own hands when she suspects Father Flynn of improper relations with one of the male students.
Sister Aloysius will be played by Malinda K. Smith. Tybee Post Theater audiences will remember her from her title role in “Shirley Valentine” and as Vinnie in “Ken.”
Smith says that while some people unfamiliar with the play may be worried it will somehow bash the Catholic church, she wants audiences to know that is not the case. She says the play is masterfully written and shows two sides to the story, allowing the audience to focus on the characters rather than the religion.
“This play was written to be set in the '60s … and I think what we are doing is pretty accurate for the time period,” Smith says.
She explains that through her research, she found that during that time period there was somewhat of a clash in the Catholic Church between “the old and the new.” And she adds the character she is playing, Sister Aloysius is very strict.
“She sees things very black and white in her world. … And she sees herself as the protector of those rules.
“The church is looking to be a friendlier face … and Father Flynn is the face of that. … The clash comes from the way they perceive the church in the community. (Sister Aloysius) also feels she has a good read on people … so becoming suspicious with Father Flynn becomes the crux of the story.
“... I’ve heard her referred to as a tragic character and I agree. It’s her focus … that finally leads to her destruction. … At the end of the play, she is left with moral questions she has to consider.
“Nobody likes to go and watch a play that they perceive to be the destruction of an institution. If we as actors do our job correctly … then at the end, it will be up to the audience to determine what happened.
“As an audience member, you can see the cracks in their logic... It isn’t about bashing a religion. It’s about two people who fundamentally see things differently and they go down a path … and the audience can see where these characters go right and wrong. … That’s where the title ‘Doubt’ comes from. … In the end, there is no clear answer.”
And if you haven’t had a chance to see live theater at the Tybee Post, yet, Smith assures audiences are in for a treat. And as a life-long stage actor, she’s glad to see live theater at the Tybee Post Theater.
“It’s one of my favorite spaces in Savannah... It’s a great space with great acoustics.”