Let there be no doubt: OSTC’S ‘Doubt’ is a winner

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Theatre Review

By DON FOWLER

John Patrick Shanley’s “parable,” set in the 1960s, is as relevant today as it was back then.

From the opening line, spoken by Father Flynn (Greg London), as he gives his weekly sermon at the St. Nicholas Church, to the closing dialogue between Sister Aloysius (Donna Sorbello), principal of the school and Sister James (Caitlin Davies), the confused, insecure young nun, “Doubt” will cast a spell over you and leave you with a few doubts of your own.

If you have seen the play, or the movie starring our own Viola Davis, I encourage (no, make that urge) you to see it again.

Director Amiee Turner has brought out the true essence of the author’s spoken words and thought-provoking undertones.

The story concerns the doubts that the conservative old-school nun has about her priest and his relationship with one of the students, who happens to be the only black boy in the parochial school.

Sister Aloysius involves the young teacher in her unrelenting search to get to the truth, eventually involving the boy’s mother (Lovely Hoffman), who has her own agenda, and finally accusing the priest head on.

The confrontation between the nun and the priest is tense, with these two fine actors pulling the audience into the scene, involving us, and leaving us to deal with the possibilities and draw our own conclusions.

The play wisely runs without intermission, never letting up on the tension, playing with our emotions and beliefs and leaving us breathless after an hour and a half of mesmerizing theatre.

If you have never been to Warwick’s Ocean State Theatre, now is the time to go. There are not that many opportunities to witness serious drama that will make you question your own values and thoughts.

“Doubt-A Parable” is at Ocean State Theatre through November 20. Call 921-6800 for reservations.

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