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BC Theatre Department & Robsham Theater Arts Center present "Doubt, a parable"


Chestnut Hill, Mass. (January 2012)  –  The Boston College Theatre Department continues the 30th anniversary season of the University’s Robsham Theater Arts Center with John Patrick Shanley's acclaimed play Doubt, a parable, the first production of the spring semester.

Winner of a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for Best Play, Doubt—directed by BC Associate Professor of Theatre John Houchin—will be performed in Robsham’s Bonn Studio February 1-5, 2012.

Rehearsal scene from Doubt, a parable (l-r): Nzinga Williams ’12 and Deirdre McCourt ’12 (Photo by Marc Franklin)

Doubt takes place in 1964 in a Catholic elementary school in the Bronx where its stern principal, Sister Aloysius Beauvier, suspects parish priest and gym teacher Father Brendan Flynn of misconduct with an African-American school boy. She enlists idealistic young teacher Sister James in her investigation, and the result is one of the most powerful and riveting American dramas of the 21st century, according to play organizers. It engages audiences on numerous levels, they note, provoking both emotional responses and triggering thought about difficult moral questions.

"It's exactly the play we should be doing at Boston College," says Theatre Department Chair Scott T. Cummings. "I like to call it a 'theological thriller.' It's suspenseful while you watch it and it leaves a lot to talk about when it's over. Yes, it's topical because of recent child sexual abuse scandals, but that's not really what it's about. It's about the difficulty of knowing with certainty. What makes us so sure that what we think is true really is true?"

The cast of Doubt features Deirdre McCourt ’12 as Sister Aloysius;  Timothy Kopacz ’13 as Father Flynn; Kasey Brown ’12 as Sister James and Nzinga Williams ’12 as play Mrs. Muller, the boy’s mother.

 “This play poses a formidable challenge to student actors,” says Houchin. “It confronts disturbing questions that involve conflicts of conscience and colliding realities. The character work has to be both honest and nuanced.”

The creative team for the BC production includes Theatre Department faculty members Crystal Tiala (scenic design) and Jacqueline Dalley (costume design). Robsham Theater Arts Center Director Howard Enoch serves as lighting designer and John Delfino ’12 serves as sound designer.

Doubt, a parable runs Wednesday, February 1 through Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 5, 2012 at 2 p.m. in Bonn Studio of the Robsham Theater Arts Center.

Tickets, now available online, are $10 for students, seniors, BC faculty and staff. General admission is $15. All tickets are available through the Robsham Theater Arts Center Box Office by calling 617.552.4002 or by visiting  

More on the play: Doubt, a parable

Doubt debuted at the Manhattan Theatre Club in 2004 and went on to a successful Broadway run totaling 525 performances, thanks in large part to the powerful portrayal of Sister Aloysius by Cherry Jones, who won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play. A major film adaptation was released in 2008, written and directed by Shanley, which featured Meryl Streep as Sister Aloysius, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Father Flynn and Amy Adams as Sister James--all of whom earned Academy Award nominations.

--Boston College Office of News & Public Affairs