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SU experts to speak as part of Syracuse Stage’s lively, insightful discussion on doubt, faith and conviction following final performance of ‘Doubt’ on March 2
SU experts to speak as part of Syracuse Stage’s lively, insightful discussion on doubt, faith and conviction following final performance of ‘Doubt’ on March 2February 21, 2008Patrick Finlonstagepr@syr.edu
Following the final performance of “Doubt” on Sunday, March 2, Syracuse Stage will host a discussion, “Doubt, Faith & Conviction,” from 3:45-5 p.m. in the Sutton Pavilion, located at the theater, 820 E. Genesee St. The discussion will explore questions raised by “Doubt” playwright John Patrick Shanley and features an esteemed panel from the Central New York community, including experts from Syracuse University, Le Moyne College and area organizations. It is free and open to the public.
Kyle Bass, literary associate at Syracuse Stage, will host the event. The discussion will be moderated by Robert Van Gulick, department chair and professor of philosophy in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. The five-person panel includes Father Linus DeSantis from St. Thomas More Campus Ministry at the Alibrandi Catholic Center at SU; M. Gail Hamner, associate professor and future professoriate program director of the religion department in The College of Arts and Sciences; Melody Holmes, director of Jail Ministry, a grassroots organization affiliated with Catholic Charities of Onondaga County; Robert Flower, associate professor of philosophy at Le Moyne College; and Cecil Abrahams, visiting professor of cultural foundations of education in SU’s School of Education and English in The College of Arts and Sciences.
Panelists will each have an opportunity to share their expert opinions on topics including doubt as a prerequisite for faith and the difference between faith and conviction. Members of the audience will also be invited to ask questions and share their opinions.
Shanley, nicknamed “Bard of the Bronx,” is the Academy Award-winning writer of the film “Moonstruck” and recently directed a film version of “Doubt” that will be released in December 2008 starring Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
“Doubt” takes place against the backdrop of the Cold War, shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, during the desegregation of schools and in the midst of Pope John XXIII’s reformative Vatican II. With great change can come feelings of doubt, evidenced by the central conflict between the two main characters in the play.
Set in a Bronx Catholic school in 1964, “Doubt” explores what happens when a strict principal, Sister Aloysius, comes to believe that a popular young priest has engaged in inappropriate conduct with a male student. Sister Aloysius has no evidence but is certain that the priest, Father Flynn, is guilty. What follows is a dynamic “mono e mono” fueled by Shanley’s thought-provoking, witty dialogue that tests the boundaries of religion, faith, community and truth. Is Sister Aloysius protecting the children in her care or is she engaged in the unfair persecution of a wrongly accused man?
Playwright Shanley offers no easy answers. “I do not profess to know the end of the play,” he once told National Public Radio. “The end of the play takes place after the play is over, when you go out and have a drink and you have a fight with your wife about what happened.” He continues with the advice, “You may want to be sure. Look down on that feeling. We’ve got to learn to live with a full measure of uncertainty.”
For more information on “Doubt” and Syracuse Stage, visit http://SyracuseStage.org. For ticket information, contact the box office at (315) 443-3275.