Join StageAgent today and unlock amazing theatre resources and opportunities. Research Playwrights, Librettists, Composers and Lyricists. Browse Theatre Writers. Nicholas Church School in the Bronx, in his sermon. However, when an unconscionable accusation is leveled against the Father, Sister Aloysius realizes that the only way to get justice is to create it herself.

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The film opens with a series of montage shots depicting life in a white, Catholic community in the Bronx. A young boy hurriedly wakes up and prepares for his service as an altar boy during Sunday mass. As the young boy walks into the church, he pokes fun at Donald, an African-American altar boy. As the morning progresses, we are introduced to Father Flynn , the priest of the parish. He gives a powerful sermon on doubt and encourages his congregation to both admit to and embrace the feeling of uncertainty.

Later that night, the nuns and the priests eat separate dinners. While the male clergy is rowdy and loud, the nuns eat dinner together in total silence. She is under the suspicion that Father Flynn is experiencing feelings of doubt because has committed regrettable actions. She urges the other nuns to remain alert. We learn that he is the first black student at the school, and that many of his peers bully him and treat him disrespectfully. Father Flynn appears to pay special attention to Donald—on one occasion, he gives him a toy dancer.

From the contextual clues, we begin to extrapolate that Sister James and Sister Aloysius believe that Donald and Father Flynn may share an inappropriate relationship. She alerts Sister Aloysius, and the two call a meeting with Father Flynn to discuss their suspicions. During their meeting, Father Flynn grows incredibly angry and defiant. He is frustrated that the nuns do not have any concrete evidence to prove their allegations.

The priest argues that he has taken Donald under his wing because he is relentlessly bullied at school. Upon revealing this information, Sister Aloysius removes Donald from being an altar boy. Father Flynn leaves the meeting in a huff.

The following Sunday, he delivers a sermon about the vicious nature of gossip. Throughout the film, it is clear that Sister James undergoes a character transformation. She becomes increasingly strict with her class, and she begins to take on the authoritative and fear-inducing leadership that Sister Aloysius encourages. As the fall turns to winter, Sister Aloysius is increasingly aggravated that no action has been taken against Father Flynn.

As she calls the priest into her office one last time, she tells Father Flynn that she has spoken with a nun at one of his past parishes and that the nun has corroborated her suspicions.

After this discussion, Father Flynn agrees to resign. He gives a final sermon to his congregation. The camera focuses on Donald Miller as he cries from the pews.

The Christmas holiday approaches, and Sister James has returned to the school after taking time off to visit her sick brother. Sister Aloysius and Sister James talk on a church bench, and the elder nun updates Sister James of everything that happened in her absence. Doubt: A Parable study guide contains a biography of John Patrick Shanley, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Doubt: A Parable essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley. Remember me. Forgot your password?

Buy Study Guide. Study Guide for Doubt: A Parable Doubt: A Parable study guide contains a biography of John Patrick Shanley, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.


Doubt: A Parable Summary

Originally staged off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club on November 23, , the production transferred to the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway in March and closed on July 2, , after performances and 25 previews. The play is set in the fictional St. Nicholas Church School, in the Bronx , during the fall of It opens with a sermon by Father Flynn, a beloved and progressive parish priest, addressing the importance of uncertainty "Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty," he says.


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Production History. Experience Philadelphia favorites Mary Martello and Ben Dibble together as never before in this suspenseful, timely American drama that grapples with questions of moral certainty — and doubt. Surrounded by the turbulence of the s, Bronx Catholic school principal Sister Aloysius is stoic and severe while parish priest Father Flynn is progressive and popular. When she suspects him of wrongdoing with a troubled student, the stage is set for a clash of authority, tradition, and faith. And to do so in a production that bristles with explosive personal conflict only amplifies the credit that [director Kathryn] MacMillan and this phenomenal cast deserve. This is a dream cast. Director Kathryn MacMillan guides a steadily building tension, and Dibble keeps us guessing without tipping his hand.


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Father Flynn delivers a sermon at St. Nicholas School and Church in the Bronx in Addressing the idea of religious uncertainty, he tells a story about a cargo ship that sinks in the middle of the ocean. Everyone on board drowns except one man, who manages to build a makeshift raft. Looking up to the sky, the man navigates by the stars, using them to discern his way home. I want to say to you: Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone.

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