Ron Cerabona April 16, 2012
In John Patrick Shanley's play Doubt, many questions are asked and issues raised, but nothing is resolved. And that is the point, said Jarrad West, one of the actors in Free-Rain Theatre Company's production of the play, which opened at The Courtyard Studio last Friday night.
''There are no questions answered - it's up to you,'' he said.
West plays Father Flynn, the progressive priest at St Nicholas Church School in The Bronx whose liberal approach to education, religion and community involvement comes into conflict with the more sternly conservative Sister Aloysius, played by Naon
Things come to a head when Sister Aloysius suspects Father Flynn of sexually assaulting the school's only Hispanic student. Caught up in the matter is a new, young teacher, Sister James (Hannah McCann), who is present when Sister Aloysius confronts Father Flynn with her suspicion.
Carrel said the issue of child abuse in the Catholic Church was the means of exploring the concept of doubt and uncertainty in a wider context.
''Sister Aloysius is very certain, or seems to be,'' she said. And while that might provide security and comfort, it might also preclude opening up to other possibilities, other ways of looking at things.
She said that while the play explored serious issues, there was also a lot of comedy underneath, in Sister Aloysius's dry humour and Sister James's naive eagerness.
Carrel, a Catholic herself, invited her parish priest to the dress rehearsal.
''We had a really good discussion afterwards,'' she said.
And while she and West had their own views on what was going on in the play, neither would say what these were. They said they wanted the members of the audience to form their own opinions.
■ Doubt is on at The Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre, on April 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 at 8pm, with 2pm matinees on April 21, 28 and 29 and a 5pm twilight performance on April 22. Tickets $35 adult, $30 concession, all matinees and twilight shows $28. Bookings: 6275 2700.