Story takes place in a Catholic school; last free preview is tonight for evening classes.
By Maritza Ramirez
A play that opens Thursday at this college explores the idea that things are not always what they seem and uncertainty reigns supreme.
“Doubt: A Parable” examines the battle between embracing gray areas and issuing rigid judgments, said Charles Falcon, theater instructor and director of “Doubt.”
“There’s no such thing as a simple answer,” Falcon said. “There is no yes or no. There is no black and white. There’s just doubt.”
The play is set in 1964 at a Catholic school, where Sister Aloysius, drawn by suspicion, develops an extreme dislike for Father Brendan, according to an April 4, 2005, article in Playbill Magazine, the 2008 film’s website and a flier from this college’s theater program.
She tries to have the priest removed from the school and instigates a battle between the church and school with dramatic consequences. Thoughts, motives, and actions are questioned when all is done.
“Doubt,” which was written by John Patrick Shanley, received the Pulitzer Prize in 2005, according to the Playbill story.
“The main concept is doubt,” theater sophomore Lauren Hunt said.
“We want the audience to feel that way,” she said.
Hunt plays Sister Aloysius.
Falcon said the movie and the play are basically the same story, but more characters are included in the movie.
Hunt said she read the script in high school and also was inspired by the actress who played Sister Aloysius in the movie, Meryl Streep.
“I wanted to be Meryl Streep — but of course I can’t be Meryl Streep,” Hunt said.
Hunt said the research and preparation for her character’s persona were really intense. Playing the role of a nun is challenging, she said.
Hunt said this had been a dream role and she wanted to do this play because of its strength and solidarity.
Hunt said Aloysius is the principal of a Catholic school and she gets what she wants. She is strict and goes by the book, she said.
Hunt said she attended UTSA a few years ago for psychology, but then realized she should be doing what she loved and switched her major to theater and came to this college.
Falcon, who said the cast has been rehearsing 15 hours a week, said he loved working with the actors and had previously worked with most except for one. He said expectations for their work effort are high in the department.
Casting the actors was done Dec. 13, around finals, and cast members worked on their lines during winter break. Rehearsing began after return from break, and actors mostly knew all of their lines.
Falcon said students volunteer to work on props and part-time staff member Kyle Van Hoozer does the costumes.
Falcon said most props on stage have been used in other productions as well.
“We buy stuff, we make stuff,” Falcon said.
The production opened its rehearsals this week as free previews for night classes on campus. The last preview is at 7:30 p.m. today. To reserve seats, call Falcon at 210-486-0486 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This is just rehearsal; I’ll stop them and we’ll start again,” Falcon said.
“It is open for students — like for an English night class — classes at night,” he said.
The play’s opening night is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in McCreless Theater. It continues at 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and Feb. 23-25 and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Feb. 26 in McCreless Theater.
The performances are open to the public, Falcon said. Tickets are $5 for students from this college with a student ID; $8 for military, senior citizens and students from other colleges; and $10 for general admission. Because of adult content, the production is not admitting children under 12, according to the flier.
The ticket booth opens an hour before each show.
Falcon said there are no preshow sales and the box office takes cash or checks only, no credit.
“We will be expecting about 100 people,” he said.
For more information, call Falcon at 210-486-0486 or email email@example.com.