Friday, March 23, 2012

Doubt, the play

What incredible acting! What a brilliant play!.  I'd loved the movie so was actually looking forward to the play if only for comparison. I didn't really think I could like it better than the movie, given Meryl Streep's performance. Yet here I was tonight loving the play even better.
Doubt, a Parable, by John Patrick Shanley was performed at the Pacific Theatre at Hemlock and 12th Vancouver.  Ron Reed was the director.  Sister Aloysius was played by Erla Faye Forsyth.  She's such a fine character actor I found myself hating her and loving her almost at the same time. I missed the depth of thought and spirit that went into the writing in the movie. But as she, as principal, spoke to the beautiful and innoscent Sister James, played by Kailtlin Williams I was truly moved by the finely delivered phrasing of profound concepts of modernity and postmodernity.
Your heart must be warm but your wit cold if you are to achieve the balance you need to teach, to paraphrase, she warned Sister James. Kaitlin was pure delight when she spoke with all the enthusiam of heart felt youth inspiring and moving.  The expressions on her face as the conflicting emotions that played through her caught as she was between Sister Aloysious and Father Flynn was thing to behold.
Father Flynn, played by Giovanni Mocibob, was either falsely accused or rightly accused.  The damage either way was elucidated clearly in his humorous and sarcastic sermons and touching defence.  I found myself caught in his dilemna, one accused who might only have the sin of long fingernails but the very accusation was such to condemn and ruin his life.  Yet to protest invariably results in the further accusation , the lady protested too much. His truly touching and yet quite possibly demonic  defence of his actions raised questions about the very core of our society.
A plant on the stage was metaphor and the Principal listening to the radio stolen from a student obsessively tainted by the 'news' was a furthe clue. Yet the Kennedy era was just before the disclosures and there is so much doubt.  But the mother of the child, Mrs. Muller, played so realistically and feelingly by Leslie Lewis Sword spoke to the essence of suffering in the long history of black America.
As usual Pacific Theatre has again outdone itself with a truly inspiring and uplifting play that cuts to the core of culture and asks the most difficult questions.  Love and judgement, old testament and new.  The new age and new world order.  All of it entwined in a superbly crafted play, neatly directed and finely executed by the very best of performers.  Thank you. Ron Reed and Pacific Theatre for a night to remember!IMG 0853IMG 0855IMG 0854

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