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  Doubt: A Parable Reviews
Doubt: A Parable
Doubt: A Parable

Doubt: A Parable
The Gift Theatre at Steppenwolf Theatre
Thru - Mar 31, 2019

Show Information


The Gift Theatre at Steppenwolf Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
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Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...While keeping the audience guessing whether or not Flynn is guilty, Shanley also explores the Roman Catholic Church at a crisis point, when the Second Vatican Council of 1962-'65 was urging the ancient institution to rethink its relationship to the modern world. Aloysius, a traditionalist, thinks that the church must project bedrock certainty-even though she chafes at its restrictions on her authority as a woman. Flynn, a liberal, advocates a "welcoming," inclusive church-but he also clings to his privileged, protected position as a male in the ultimate old boys' club."
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Albert Williams



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...There are always things we agree not to see in the theater: the wire holding the fairy in the air, the seam where the wig meets the skull, the dropped prop, the flubbed line. It's part of the work of the theater that this place is not really this place, that person not that person. But what would it mean in the case of this play and this production, to really see it all, starkly? What if Sister Aloysius were to truly read from a book or even supertitles projected on the walls? What if Father Flynn were to let us into his mortal frailty? Father Flynn says, to open the play, "Your bond with your fellow beings was your despair." Could it have been worth the risk to unite us in seeing rather than blindness?"
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Irene Hsiao



Chicago Theatre Review- Highly Recommended

"...The play is a lean 90 minutes without an intermission, and it doesn't waste a single one of them. At the start of the show, Father Flynn gives a sermon. He says that the experience of shared doubt can be as powerful an experience and bond as shared certainty. The incredibly talented cast in this exquisite production certainly proves the point. More than anything, I left this show thinking about the four very human characters this incredible cast brought to life."
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Kevin Curran



The Fourth Walsh- Recommended

"...Under the skillful direction of John Gawlik, this production is tight. The ensemble is superb. Mary Ann Thebus (Sr. Aloysius) is the tough-as-nails principal. She unapologetically criticizes her subordinate (played by Cyd Blakewell). Thebus nitpicks Blakewell from her teaching style to overall personality. An earnest Blakewell physically crumples under the weight of the negative assessment. Thebus delivers the stinging blows with plenty of zinging wit. "
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Katy Walsh



Chicago On Stage- Recommended

"...All of the characters in this play are motivated by a desire to be there for this young boy caught in a situation he did not create, desiring only to make it through and perhaps be able to get into a better high school. The question being asked throughout is what else might motivate them. Why is Sister Aloysius so convinced of the priest's guilt? Why does Father Flynn spend time alone with a 12-year-old boy? How much of Sister James' reaction is her own intimidation by the head nun? What goes through the mother's mind as she contemplates all of the possibilities for her son?"
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Karen Topham



PicksInSix- Recommended

"...More than uncertainty is woven tightly into each of the characters of John Patrick Shanley’s compelling 2005 Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning play “DOUBT: A Parable,” The Gift Theatre’s stirring revival now playing at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre. Control and order drive Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Mary Ann Thebus), the authoritative principal at St. Nicholas Church School, to extremes with an accusation of inappropriate behavior with a student by the progressive and well-respected Father Brendan Flynn (Michael Patrick Thornton)."
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Ed Tracy



TotalTheater- Highly Recommended

"...The subtext of John Patrick Shanley's set-in-1964 written-in-2004 "parable" changes over the years-from suspicions of priestly sexual abuse, to the ecclesiastical subordination of women, to post-Vatican II teaching methods. Never before, however, has the underlying theme of power's intrinsically corruptive influence been more apparent than in this Gift Theater production, relocated from its remote storefront to the lakefront. Despite the visual diversion of medieval-era churchly garb (including a surplice concealing Father Flynn's wheelchair), there's no mistaking its dramatic question revolving on the dubious ethics of Macchiavellian casuistry employed in service of righteous outrage."
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Mary Shen Barnidge



Picture This Post- Recommended

"...Full of tension and challenging writing, this writer certainly feels this is a production to experience. Shanley wrote Doubt: A Parable in 2004, yet The Gift Theatre Company's production proves that these questions on doubt and suspicion are every bit as relevant."
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Lauren Katz



Rescripted- Highly Recommended

"...Lies, truths, and doubts about all fling through the space, the sound by Matthew Chapman reminded us constantly that we could be sure of nothing. And at the end of Doubt I found that I was sure of very little. Every viewpoint was presented with certainty by the actors, and the murky conclusion in which it leaves us furthers the philosophical questions. Do we step further away from God the more we pursue judgement, and decide the fate of other men on our own convictions? If we do not, who will protect the innocent? Doubt is a captivating and hauntingly relevant show, executed by a brilliant creative team."
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Regina Victor