‘Doubt, A Parable’: An Opportunity for Deep Discussion About Our Baptismal Covenant
Church Groups Encouraged to See the Play February 22-25 and March 1-4 at Essex Center’s Memorial Hall
By Peggy Bonesteel
For congregations seeking new and interesting topics for their discussion forums, the Essex Players’ winter production of John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, A Parable offers a springboard for conversations into what it means to live lives guided by our Baptismal Covenant in today’s world.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Doubt, A Parable, raises issues that resonate with closely with Episcopalians endeavoring to live within their Baptismal Covenant—issues such as resisting evil, sin and repentance, serving Christ, striving for justice, and ultimately a responsibility as Christians to examine these issues.
‘Doubt, A Parable’, raises issues that resonate with closely with Episcopalians endeavoring to live within their Baptismal Covenant.
The play takes place in 1964, but the issues it presents are relevant today. Doubt tells the story of Sister Aloysius, a conservative and stern principal of a Catholic school in the Bronx, and Father Flynn, a charismatic and progressive young priest of the associated parish. When Sister Aloysius begins to suspect that Father Flynn is having an improper relationship with a young student, she makes it her mission to have him removed from the school and, if possible, from the priesthood. Throughout the play the audience never quite knows if Sister Aloysius’ concerns are real or if Father Flynn’s story is true. The characters must come to grips with faith and doubt, sin and repentance, justice and truth, as does the audience.
The characters must come to grips with faith and doubt, sin and repentance, justice and truth, as does the audience.
The play provides an opportunity to jump-start parish conversations that will provide a safe forum for examining these issues that are so critical to our lives as Episcopalians and as Christians.
Congregational leaders, please consider encouraging your congregation to go as groups to see this play, which will be performed by Essex Community Players, February 22-25 and March 1-4 at Memorial Hall in Essex Center. Note that both the February 25 and March 4 performances are matinées. If a group from any one parish consists of 10 or more people, $2 will be taken off the ticket prices, which are $18 for a regular adult ticket and $16 for seniors and students. The Players are willing to offer talk-back sessions with the actors and the director after the performances for groups that request them.
Tickets can be ordered at the Essex Players’ website: http://www.essexplayers.com.
The Players are willing to offer talk-back sessions with the actors and the director after the performances for groups that request them.
After seeing the play, participants are encouraged to gather at their respective parishes to discuss the issues raised by the play. Care should be taken to ensure that these discussions are safe spaces where everyone’s voice is respectfully heard.
Doubt, A Parable allows a natural segue into discussion forums that will help us all grow and develop within the Baptismal Covenant. Such forums could become a significant aspect of our growth and development as Episcopalians and as Christians.