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Doubt, A Parable Critique - 0000 1 0000 Prof Intro to...

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0000 1 0000 Prof. Intro to Theatre 1331 24 September 2007 Doubt, A Parable Critique As I sat in my comfortable seat with the theater filling in with people, I felt a rush of excitement. I hadn’t been to a play in over two years; I’ve never seen a professional play; and I’ve certainly never been to the Alley Theater (or ever been so far away from a stage). I grew more and more anxious as I looked through the playbill. John Shanley seemed passionate about his play and his thought behind the themes of the play seemed existential and realistically pragmatic in nature. I was open to either really liking or disliking the Alley’s interpretation of the play, but I knew for sure I was in for an interesting ride with Shanley’s plot. The first scene opened with Jeffrey Bean, an Alley Company member, as Father Flynn. Immediately, a theme is clearly introduced in his sermon as he preaches about the insecurities of humankind and the hope we can hold on to as the Church stands as a united front to our troubles. From these first few minutes, audiences are aware that the “doubt” of the play may not be limited only to Catholicism and faith, but to the overall feeling of uncertainty and that it can be as powerful as any strong conviction. I think if I were a member of Father Flynn’s congregation, I would be excited after his sermon; either from the way he charmingly expressed himself in his speech and tone of voice or from his dignified body language and passionate hand gestures, I’m not quite sure. Either way, I focused on how Father Flynn said his sermon than what he said. As the next scene unfolds, Sister Aloysius and Sister James are introduced. This is when I first took notice to the costume aspect of the play. Their habits were obviously not modern and
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0000 2 reinforced that the play was set back in 1964. Both sisters were covered up from head to toe in layers of black with just a sliver of white at their necks. The ruffles on their bonnets and skirts made the impression that they were wearing a lot more than they actually were. I got the impression that they were floating because their skirts reached all the way to the floor. It even seemed that their bonnet was layered because you never once saw either sisters’ hair. It was as if every distinguishable characteristic of their appearance was taken away by the costume. To me, their habits seemed stifling and oppressive, perhaps symbolizing how repressed each individual was by their faith and position in the church.
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