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Community News Doubt: A Parable captivates audiences

Doubt: A Parable captivates audiences

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Monday, 28 November 2011

 Trinity College School’s production of Doubt: A Parable, brought audience members to their feet during its three-night run, November 23rd to 25th, in the Dick and Jane LeVan Theatre. The challenging nature of this timely Pulitzer Prize-winning drama and the amazing efforts of the cast and crew were appreciated by everyone in attendance.

As playwright John Patrick Shanley says in an introduction to the play: “We are living in a culture of extreme advocacy, of confrontation, of judgment and of verdict. Discussion has given way to debate. Communication has become a contest of wills. Public talking has become obnoxious and insincere. Why? Maybe it’s because deep down under the chatter we have come to a place where we know that we don’t know…anything. But nobody’s willing to say that. Doubt, then, is a parable for our time: When should we stand firm in our beliefs? When must we accept a measure of doubt into our thinking, and give someone else the benefit of that doubt? When belief begins to slip, will doubt help us to renew our humanity or make us into a lie?”

The Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning drama centres on a 1960s church school which is rocked by scandal. Exploring themes of certainty, judgment, faith and, of course, doubt, the audience is invited to draw its own conclusions from the confrontation between the rigid Sister Aloysius (played by Laura Alessandrini) and the progressive Father Flynn (Alex Jack), whom she suspects of having an inappropriate relationship with a student. Witnessing this battle is the young Sister James (Melanie Breithaupt), struggling to reconcile Sister Aloysius’ determined accusations with her own desire to think the best of everyone. Rounding out the principal cast is Chanel DaCosta as Mrs. Muller, the mother of the student involved in the scandal. All of these actors brought the play and its themes to life with maturity and poise.

They were joined on stage by supporting cast including Cat Morrison and Charlotte Kelly as nuns, and a great group of Grade 5 students as Father Flynn’s basketball team: Ashish Gauba, Ethan Burnside, Ben Traugott, Parker Mandryk, Graham Williams, Matthew Grainger and Trevor Murray.

Such a briskly paced and stark tale requires a great production team. We had this with assistant director Max Kaufmann, stage manager Sarah Flanigan and assistant stage manager Jack Stoddart, along with the crew: Chloe Daley, Hailey Davis, Charlotte Kelly, Will Kelly, Cat Morrison, Nish Patel, Basil Southey, Erik Urabe, Sarah Webber, Ryan Williams, Zac Wills, Phoenix Wong and Kristen Young.

The lighting (designed by Cory McKercher), set (designed by Andrew Gregg, constructed by Dale Heffernan and painted by Mark and Mike den Biesen) and costumes (by Suzanne Mess and assistants Gisele Butcher and Barb Horscroft) allowed audiences to immerse themselves in the world of St. Nicholas School.

Gratitude goes to Esther Baunach for our poster design and Michelle Churchman, our front of house manager. We also thank the following for their time and expertise in bringing Doubt: A Parable to the stage: the TCS property and food services departments, Larry and Travis Adamcryck, Jan Lovekin, Wendy Cowin, Diane Johnston and Cobourg Canvas, Rhiannon Heffernan and Patrick McClean, the Grade 9/10 Technical Theatre students and the Junior School.

Congratulations to director Bill Walker and the entire cast and crew on their incredible work!

Click here for more photos from the play.


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