By STEPHANIE CHAE
With an intimate cast of only four people and roughly four weeks to prepare, “Doubt” will kick off the University of Mary Washington’s 2014-2015 theatre season.
Set in 1964, “Doubt” is the story of the principal of a Catholic school in the Bronx that begins to suspect inappropriate relations between Father Flynn and the only African-American boy at the school. The production focuses on the principal’s campaign to expose the supposed crimes of Father Flynn.
“It’s not about religion as more as it is about faith and following what you believe to be true and right. It’s thought provoking. The audience will hopefully leave with doubt,” junior Catalina Ruiz de Gamboa (Sister Aloysius Beauvier) said.
“Doubt,” written in 2006 by John Patrick Shanley, is a fairly new play and was made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman just two years after it hit the stage.
“I think many people will go see the play because it was a movie. So I think there will be high expectations,” senior Stephen Nickens (Father Flynn) said. “Plus, it’s raising the stakes for us, as actors, because it’s such a heavy play and we can’t rely on the darkness of the play. We have to give it life.”
“Doubt” is directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Helen Housley and has a diverse cast consisting of a sophomore, a junior, a senior and an adult student.
“It’s cool to have [an adult student] in the show because she has a different perspective,” Ruiz de Gamboa said. “To have someone there with the wisdom of a mother is very interesting to have and very beneficial because she knows what to bring to the table. But I think we all fit very well together.”
“Doubt” is yet another production put on by the UMW Theatre Department in recent years that tackles incredibly heavy issues and social taboos. Some of the past plays that were based around difficult issues include “Spring Awakening” and “Harvey.”
Ruiz de Gamboa said, “I feel like there is no villain. Everyone has what they believe to be true and right, and none of them should be villianified for that. Everyone who watches the show is going to have a different response. And they’re going to come out thinking something different.”
The compelling production will play at the Klein Theatre from Sept. 25 through Oct. 5.