by Robert Bell
'DOUBT: A PARABLE'
7:30 p.m. The Weekend Theater. $12-$16.
John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt: A Parable," won some pretty hefty awards, namely the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play.
The play, which premiered in 2004, concerns the tension that arises between Father Flynn, a liberal young priest, and Sister Aloysius, the harsh and judgmental principal of the parish school. The play's full title is accurate; "Doubt" is indeed a parable, one about the bulldozing power of self-righteous certainty, the gnawing, toxic effects of uncertainty and the way truth often evaporates in the midst of the two forces.
I haven't seen a stage production of "Doubt," but the 2008 film adaptation — directed by Shanley — was tense and engrossing, with a stellar cast. I don't want to give away too much about the story, but suffice it to say that Shanley, who grew up in the Catholic Church, has some strong feelings about the institution, and the way it exerts control and crushes the individual, planting the seeds of doubt. "Doubt" runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through April 20.