Thursday, March 01, 2012

My Life at the Theater: Doubt

We saw DOUBT at the Performance Network in Ann Arbor in 2008, an intimate venue for a play like this one. I thought it was very well done and left some room for DOUBT, more than the eventual film with Streep and Seymour Hoffman did. DOUBT questions whether a priest has been abusing children at a Catholic School. A nun goes toe-to-toe with him. It really was a riveting play.


J F Norris said...

One of the most powerful plays I've seen in years. I had an extremely personal reaction to it. I also ended up talking about it for months afterwards and defending it as a masterwork of American theater to people who were denigrating it for all the wrong reasons. I think the play is about a lot more than just the sexual abuse issue. Sister Aloysius almost becomes an allegorical figure for power and abuse herself. It's an an astonishing play. All four roles have really meaty scenes - especially the boy's mother who I think has the most important message in the entire play. She talks about something that many people are blind to and refuse to believe about some children.

I saw it in the touring production with the fabulous Cherry Jones who created the role on Broadway. I was so moved I saw it twice. I never do that. I have yet to see the Streep/Hoffman movie because the play is just too perfect to me. I'm afraid I'd do too much comparing and find it wanting even with Streep in the cast.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I totally agree. And a good company will make this more ambiguous than the movie did, I think. Make the characters more complex. You did well not to see it although Viola Davis was amazing.

Anonymous said...

Patti - Oh, I haven't seen this one in play form, but it sounds really powerful. I'm glad you found yourself absorbed.