‘Doubt,’ Final Play of Pistarckle Season, to Premiere May 10

The cast of “Doubt” features four resident actors. Pictured left to right: Dena Landgon as Sister Aloysius Beauvier, Garry Bryan as Father Brendan Flynn and Emily Cannon Latham as Sister James; missing from photo: Jervina K. Dowers as Mrs. Muller. (photo by Priscilla Lynn)

The premiere weekend for the final play of the Pistarckle Theater 2018-19 Season will be 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11, featuring the engrossing, provocative drama “Doubt,” written by John Patrick Shanley and directed by Frank Barolucci, Pistarckle’s resident director. Additional performances will be held at 8 pm., Friday and Saturday, May 17 and May 18, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, May 19. Pistarckle Theater is located in the far back of Tillett Gardens on St. Thomas East End.

In 1964 the winds of change are sweeping through Sister Aloysius’ St. Nicholas School. Father Flynn, a charismatic priest, is advocating reform of the school’s strict customs, and the first black student has just been accepted. When a fellow nun tells Sister Aloysius that Father Flynn may be paying too much personal attention to the student, Sister Aloysius begins a personal crusade against the priest — despite her lack of evidence.

According to Bartolucci, “This play takes place in 1964. It is imperative to see it through the lens of that era. It is an era where the allegations brought by Sister Aloysius Beauvier were unfathomable and therefore, we truly don’t know if she was right or wrong.”

Seen through today’s lens skews the allegations heavily to one side. The audience simply knows too much about the indiscretions and abuse that have taken place in the Catholic Church. However, in the context of the play, there is no proof that Sister Beauvier’s accusations have any merit, and thus it is open to debate whom the viewing audience believes.