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There is no ‘Doubt’ about a good show

October 31, 2013

 

CODY SEXTON
Staff Reporter

 

It’s always the same.

 

Stephanie Hart cowers from Mark McGinley’s character as he defends himself from her accusations. - Photo by Devin Dronett

Stephanie Hart cowers from Mark McGinley’s character as he defends himself from her accusations. – Photo by Devin Dronett

I go to a play expecting to be bored out of mind while a group of actors confined to one small space try to pass it off as multiple locations.

 

And every time I have been wrong.

 

The School of Performing Arts’ “Doubt: A Parable” was no exception as the four-person cast delivered a performance as authentic as the movie staring Meryl Streep.

 

With advances in modern film-making spoiling moviegoers, it can be difficult for those who lack imagination to be able to see a church, rectory, office and garden all on one stage.

 

From the lighting designed to create a stained glass window behind Father Flynn (played by Mark McGinley) to the chirping bird sound effects set for the scenes in the garden, the theater succeeded in bringing 1964 Bronx, N.Y., to Stone Theatre.

 

Stephanie Hart’s portrayal of the relentless Sister Aloysius was on par with that of Meryl Streep’s interpretation of the same character in the movie version of the play.

 

Having fully committed to the role, everything from Hart’s tone to her facial expressions made her crusade against the priest ever more believable.

 

Courtney Vaneaton’s portrayal of Sister James was innocence personified.

 

She delivered the struggle Sister James goes through to try to see the world darker than her nature ideally allows.

 

A highlight of the show was Marian Fields’ portrayed of Mrs. Muller.

 

For the brief period she was onstage, she captivated the audience with her sass and defensive motherly nature.

 

The actress’s ability to bring comedic relief to a show about racism and alleged pedophilia is to be praised on its own.

 

The show’s greatest effect is leaving the audience wondering if Father Flynn really was guilty, having never really been told during the show.

 

You find yourself hours after the play sitting in your living room wondering to yourself, “did he really do it?”

 

If audience members walk into the theater with any doubts about live productions, they will leave this play with none.

 

Email comments to cls068@latech.edu.

 

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