Doubt, A Parable renews humanity in the wake of uncertainty

Taylyn Cogswell | staff writer | [email protected]

“Doubt, a Parable” has made an ambitious run in the last two weeks inside of the Danny Peterson Theatre. This remarkable production guides the audience through a series of serious themes, devastating accusations and faith-rattling questions which have cultivated an absolutely unique viewing experience. This production has been lead by none other than director and costume designer and professor Darrin Pufall, who has overseen the immense commitment of the student actors over the last two months of bringing this show to life.

“Because it is the first play of the year, we like to start out with something exhilarating,” Pufall said.

The single-set, 90-minute play is comprised of a four-person cast of Boise State students and is heavily female-driven. The Pulitzer Prize award-winning play “Doubt” by John Patrick Shanley is set in 1964 and follows the story of a nun, who is breaking the glass ceiling and moving beyond the boundaries that her institution has placed around her in order to do what she feels compelled to do to set things right.

In wake of the ever-widening church scandals, “Doubt, a Parable” aims to capture the desperate emotion that has a tendency to bring individuals together in their state of uncertainty, which Shanley believes is here to stay.

“The thing that the playwright does with this play that is so wonderful is that he never allows the audience to know what the result is. The result is really up to the audience to decide,” said Pufall. “It is always my goal to give these (religious) individuals heart and reality because it is very easy to stereotype nuns and priests and I don’t think we do that in this play. In fact, I think we do the exact opposite.”

The cast and crew of “Doubt, a Parable” have been putting in a tremendous amount of work on and off the stage in preparation for this production. The cast members, though some of an ecumenical background, have attended mass in both Latin and English on a regular basis to gain a greater understanding of religious life, as well as the specific time period in which the play is set within.

The Danny Peterson is a versatile black box theatre which allows for intimate staging for smaller productions such as “Doubt, a Parable” and fosters a viewing experience that is engaging and personal for audience members.

“At first I was hesitant because of the intimate space, but by the end of the play, I would not have wanted anything different,” wrote Boise State student Kaleigh Evanchak who attended the Thursday night production on Sept. 27. “Each of these actors brought their characters stories to life. I believed in all of them.”

“Doubt” has created connections with the Boise State community and is teaching audiences and cast members alike an exceptional lesson about the practice of renewing one’s humanity even in the face of overwhelming uncertainty.

“This is my favorite play, I love the play itself, I love the wording of the play, I love how the play is structured, (and) I love what the play does for an audience member. But I am most impressed and satisfied with how our students have made this play their own,” Pufall said.

For those interested in seeing this show before it closes, “Doubt, a Parable” will be running for another week in the Danny Peterson Theatre on the evenings of Oct. 3-6, as well as 2:30 on Oct. 7. Boise State students can secure a ticket for free at the Morrison Center box office between 10-5 p.m. on weekdays, otherwise, admission is $12 at the door.