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‘Doubt’ onstage at Thingamajig Theatre

Charismatic Father Flynn begins a sermon by asking, “What do you do when you’re not sure?” Audiences soon learn that little is certain in John Patrick Shanley’s brilliant, aptly titled play.

If you’ve seen John Patrick Shanley’s 2007 film, Doubt, starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis, then this story will be familiar. “Doubt: a Parable,” confronts several themes: trust, suspicion, intolerance and conviction.

In Thingamajig Theatre’s production, Sister Aloysius, played by Laura Moore, brilliantly pulls off her conservative, orderly character, balancing Sister James (Anna Hershey) as the young, bright-eyed teacher who just wants to look out after her students and see them do well.

When Father Flynn (Tim Moore), a progressive priest at the school, takes Donald Muller (the only black student) under his wing, suspicious Sister Aloysius attempts to disrupt the entire school by trying to dishonor his name. No matter what Father Flynn says to her, the stern nun is convinced of wrong doing and stops at nothing until she has her way. Tim Moore (as Flynn) portrays a priest who can both inspire and nurture, while teaching valuable lessons of love and devotion in the school.

Thingamajig’s intimate stage setting is the perfect setting to bring to this Pulitzer prize-winning play front and center to the audience. Patrons are seated on three sides of the set that serves as a church, school office and school garden throughout the play. The show starts with Father Flynn giving a sermon. The energetic tempo of the Father Flynn’s first sermon sets the play’s pace, and is followed with comic moments in addition to well-paced, gripping drama throughout the rest of the show. The second half of the play is decidedly more serious as Donald Muller’s mother meets with Sister Aloysius. As Mrs. Muller, Sharina Ramsey-Adams appears perfectly dressed in period costume, affecting a gentle Southern accent and stuns the audience during her meeting with Sister Aloysius.

Since its initial sold-out production off-Broadway, “Doubt” has enthralled and stunned audiences while garnering critical acclaim. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award, “Doubt” provides a rare evening of theatre that entertains and captivates emotionally, psychologically and intellectually. In an extraordinary theatrical sleight of hand, Shanley leaves audiences no simple answers, no pat solutions, and no easy outs. This is theatre that brings audiences to the edge of their seats and introduces topics that will be discussed long after the final curtain.

“Doubt: A Parable,” opens May 18 and runs through June 3 at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts. The show is appropriate for audiences age 13 plus. May 18 Champagne Opening tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. All other performances are $15 with advance purchase or $20 at the door. To make a reservation visit www.pagosacenter.org or call 731-SHOW.

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