Controversial themes sprout in spring play

Home Variety Controversial themes sprout in spring play

By Caley Williams and Meghan Bishop

Doubt: A Parable was produced and performed by North Central’s Theatre department. Photo by Ericka Sura.

North Central’s Spring theater production, “Doubt: A Parable,” premiered in the Anderson Chapel Friday, March 16. The play will also show the weekend of March 23-25.  

The play follows the lives of two nuns and a priest during a season of questioning, particularly highlighting themes of guilt, faith and sexual misconduct or its accusations. While it is set in the 1960s, its themes are relevant to today’s “Me Too” climate of awareness regarding inappropriate sexual behavior. 

 “This is relevant, in my view, to the modern church today and our choices of what sermons and church-leaders we follow,” Soren Miller, actor and sophomore theater major, said. “Whether we base our trust on a speaker’s message or their character.” 

 Matthews said this play was chosen because of how it handles these themes and how it requires only a simple set and small cast. Only four actors comprise the cast of this production: junior Rebekah Peterson and sophomores Soren Miller, Bethany Wollman and Khalil Uvero. The production is directed by theater professor Wayne Matthews and co-directed by Norah Long. 

 “The students are excited to tackle a challenging piece of theatre that has something important to say.” Matthews said. “The play, “Doubt,” is not so much about the possibility of a priest’s inappropriate behavior as it is about the idea of uncertainty of ‘doubt.’”  

 “We have been very fortunate to have two directors who both know how this production can provoke thought in the audience. I think the whole cast feels very proud to be able to engage people in such a story,” said Miller. 

 With the production set in the round, actors perform in the center of their audience. Their entrances and exits take place through the aisles of the audience.  

“Setting it in the round made it more engaging. It was like the actors couldn’t turn their back on you,” junior Austin Bulthuis said. 

 According to Matthews, student interest in this play has been low because it is unfamiliar to many. 

 “As Christian artists we have an obligation to understand our world and the people in it– on and off the stage, and to be able to speak to and into these ideas,” Matthews said. “We do not always agree with these characters, but we wish to represent them honestly and with excellence”.