By Emily Sewell
Performed by local actors through Theatre Oxford, “Doubt: A Parable” is a dramatic parable based in 1964 in the Bronx that follows a priest as he struggles with uncertainty after being accused of a crime against a student.
“The play is about having doubts and how doubt unifies us,” said director Brian Whisenant. “Being uncertain unifies us as people because we are all uncertain about something.”
This will be Whisenant’s third time directing for Theatre Oxford. Whisenant moved to Oxford in 2015 after working as a professional actor in New York City and Los Angeles.
“Brian has done an excellent job with this play,” said lead actor Connor King. “The hard work that he has put into it will really come out during the performances this weekend.”
King plays the role of Father Flynn, a progressive priest who is struggling with moral uncertainty. This is King’s first lead role for Theatre Oxford. King graduated from Ole Miss in 2010 and has remained an Oxonian since.
“It moves very quickly,” King said. “I think people can expect to be able to watch a good show and be able to take in a heavy subject matter in a palatable way.”
Although it can be categorized as a very serious play, Whisenant said that it will be very enjoyable for Oxford to experience and that the community can expect to be happily surprised by the quality of the production.
“Community theatre has a stigma that it is amateur,” Whisenant said, “but it is a beautiful thing, and everyone involved in this production is so good.”
Jennifer Lauriello, a junior at Ole Miss, plays the role of Sister James, a nun and teacher who is deeply affected by the accusations made against Father Flynn.
“This play has a lot more than just the surface level,” Lauriello said. “It’s a very big mystery. You’re going to be wondering and looking for clues and having a good time all the way through the end.”
The show premieres Thursday April 11 at 7:30 p.m. with showings at the same time on Friday and Saturday. The play’s finale is Sunday April 14 at 2:00 p.m.