by John Patrick Shanley
the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winner 2005
John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt is the most critically praised and successful new American play of the last five years. Once one has seen the play, it is perhaps easy to see why. It is masterfully constructed, featuring four strong, varied, and carefully delineated characters.
Shanley calls Doubt “a parable”. We know what a parable is in religion – a story which teaches us a lesson. What is Shanley trying to tell us with this play about the Catholic Church, which is a parable dealing with our every day lives?
What has made this play a challenging and rewarding one for audiences, as well as for those of us who have the opportunity to create a production of the play, is that many important questions are raised – about doubt, about certitude, about gossip, about intolerance, about sexual orientation, about the nature of faith, about personal responsibility in the face of authority – many questions. And they are not answered by the play. They are raised, twisted about, viewed from many sides – but has Shanley has said, the audience is left to play the final scene – Scene 10 – themselves, after the play is over. That scene takes place in Cafes, restaurants, bars, taxis, your own home. It’s the scene where you discuss and argue the points raised by the play – and your individual opinion of what you just saw – and what actions the characters have actually taken.
Doubt makes for an extraordinary evening of theatre for just that reason – it makes us think, and questions, and converse; while at the same time the play entertains us, moves us, and yes, makes us laugh.
It’s a great privilige to be able to direct our fine American cast, in collaboration with our Vienna based designers and production team, in the European premiere of Doubt.