It takes a certain kind of integrity—or perhaps better still, gall—to stage a production of John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt: A Parable” in an actual church. And while Glencoe Union Church, where Writers Theatre has temporarily taken residence, is not outwardly comparable to the co-ed Catholic school where Shanley’s morality tale is set, the gesture should not be lost on anyone.
With Kevin Depinet’s exquisite stage design complementing the natural serenity of the space, this reverent production seeks to be worthy of Shanley’s complicated and characteristically combative interrogation of faith and duty. It succeeds on the integrity of its ensemble, a fearless quartet that is prepared to sacrifice equanimity in the pursuit of virtuous theater.
Under the guidance of director William Brown, the scene work here is the main event. In any play intention is everything. Here, even the most confrontational moments are dealt with, in typical Catholic fashion, indirectly, demanding composure and self-possession especially in moments of profound ambiguity. Read the rest of this entry »