|Father Flynn||Tim Brown|
|Sister Alyosius||Kathy Patterson|
|Sister James||Kelly-Ann Rohrbach|
|Mrs. Muller||Felecia White|
|Asst. Director||Jerry Brucker|
|Stage Manager||Cheryl Wenhold|
|Lighting Designer||J. Bradley Youst|
|Set Design||Ralph Montesano/Dan Lewis|
|Set Painting/Garden Design||Mickey Brown/Nancy Sturm/Lynn Romano|
|Set Construction||Dan Lewis/Lynn Romano|
|Costume Design||Joey Haws|
|Stage Crew||Cheryl Wenhold/Jerry Brucker/Ben Phillips/Blake Dennis/Cathy Pacheco/Mickey Brown/Shamir|
'Doubt' suspenseful and absorbing at Pa. Playhouse
By Dave Howell, Special to The Morning Call
June 5, 2012
"Doubt: A Parable" deals with suspected
"Doubt" lives up to its title. There are no clear answers. It is a character study, expertly performed in an hour and a half without intermission. The stage has only three settings — a courtyard and an office that alternate in center stage, and a pulpit on the side. The latter is used for a few short sermons that relate to the story.
The plot unwinds gradually, and it even includes a little humor. Sister Aloysius (Kathy Patterson) is the extremely stern principal of a Catholic school. She admonishes young Sister James (Kelly-Anne Rohrbach) for being overly enthusiastic in her teaching and innocent in her outlook. It turns out that Sister Aloysius is convinced that Father Flynn (Tim Brown) has had inappropriate contact with a new student, and she wants Sister James to help her find proof.
Father Flynn has a reasonable explanation for his interest in the boy and for the boy's behavior. Sister Aloysius continues to investigate, even calling in his mother Mrs. Muller (Felecia White), questioning her to find evidence against Flynn.
Either Sister Aloysius or Father Flynn can be seen
as a villain or a victim, depending on how the events are
interpreted. Audience members even get
Brown and Patterson seem to be one-dimensional at first, making Sister Aloysius overbearing and Father Flynn almost saintly. But they gradually bring out different aspects to their characters, as the conflict builds.
Rohrbach deftly shows Sister James just barely breaking out of her timidity, and White is a commanding presence in her smaller but crucial role. The only drawback is that on a few occasions, the clergy actors are a little hard to understand.
The situation in "Doubt" is actually unrealistic, since a conflict between a priest and a nun in the 1960s would surely be settled in favor of the priest. That should not matter at all, however, in this suspenseful and absorbing production directed by Ralph Montesano.
Dave Howell is a freelance writer.
Copyright © 2012, The Morning Call