STILLWATER — Tickets are on sale for the Oklahoma State University Department of Theatre’s production of Doubt: A Parable.
John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt: A Parable, premiered on Broadway in 2005. The production won a Tony for Best Play and was made into a popular film starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2008.
While the primary storyline is inherently intriguing, even in an “off-putting” sort of way, it is the framework upon which Shanley builds his broader thematic discussion. The primary theme is evident: the concept of doubt. However, the play also explores the notion of certainty and more complex ideas about established rules of order and due process.
“The small cast is fantastic. Everyone has really had to wrestle these parts,” said OSU alumna Charissa Lee, who will be playing Sister Aloysius.
Lee is excited about the production taking place in the Jerry Davis Studio Theatre in Gunderson Hall.
“This is powerful and personal. It is so well written and beautifully put together, and the intimate ‘black box’ style of theatre is the perfect location for it. I can’t wait for our patrons to have this experience!”
Freshman Jordan Whitwell will be playing Father Flynn. He said he has enjoyed meeting new people and working with director Tom Alsip.
“I have learned so much,” he said. “Our show isn’t like many other dramas. This one is very relevant in society currently, and if you want to have an interesting take on something like that, I would recommend coming to see the show and definitely keep an open mind.”
Courtney Noisette and Michaela Wilson, both freshmen, believe the play has been a great learning opportunity.
“This is a show I like because it makes you think — how everything can work in the real world and has a connection, like a battle between your morals. It’s all about perception and I love that,” Noisette said. She will play Mrs. Muller. Wilson, who was in the recent production of The Three Musketeers, will play Sister James.
The stage manager for Doubt is senior Reagan Burns.
“This show has been double cast, and that has been really neat because even though different actors are playing the same character, each brings something unique, and it is fun to see how that changes a few things.”
Alsip said Shanley’s characters double as archetypes to help the audience digest complex messages.
“What makes this play so successful is not only the plot, which is intriguing and ever-changing as more information is unveiled in each scene, but also Shanley’s ability to drill down to the bedrock of our social anxieties,” Alsip said. “And even before the elements of his plot re-emerged into the social fabric of current events, his ideas had taken up residence in our psyches as they are the same questions we ask ourselves daily. These fights with our inner selves have been going on since our ability to reason, and our desperation for certainty only grows stronger with each generation.”
For Alsip, Doubt is an attempt to better help the audience in the lifelong battle to “draft their better angels to vanquish the demonic foe of doubt.”
“He presents these ideas in a contemporary two-act play. The first act is the play to be performed in the theater. The second act takes place on an individual basis as you discuss this play and the story with others who have shared in this communal experience,” Alsip said. “I hope this new look at the field helps each person in their individual battle. The power of Shanley’s storytelling will hopefully clarify these themes in our everyday lives. And, to borrow from another powerful literary masterpiece, enable us to ‘slip the surly bonds’ of Earth’s doubts and ‘rise to the high untrespassed sanctity’ of certainty, stretching our fingers to the heavens to touch the face of God.”
Doubt: A Parable, will run for two weekends: 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1-2, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3, 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 8-9 and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 10. Tickets are $12, seniors (65 and older) are $8, and student tickets are $7.
For more information about Doubt: A Parable or the other 2018-2019 season productions, visit theatre.okstate.edu or call 405-744-6094.