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Fractured faith

UNT’s theater department stages thorny drama ‘Doubt’

A nun nurses a niggling suspicion that the priest who presides over the Catholic school where she teaches is a predator. Her anxieties teach a young sister — an emerging teacher — an unintended lesson about the fallout of power plays.

John Patrick Shanley’s 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt: A Parable is a popular play that gets its second local staging by the University of North Texas Department of Dance and Theatre Arts. Denton Community Theatre staged a one-act cutting of the drama for its American Association of Community Theatre competition festival several years ago. It was adapted for film in 2008, and starred Meryl Streep and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Professor Andrew B. Harris is the guest director of the drama. It’s 1964, and Sister Aloysius Beauvier suspects her superior, Father Flynn, might be molesting St. Nicholas Church School’s first black student.

She presses Sister James, a young nun and an inexperienced teacher, for information about the priest. Cultural and religious agendas are set on a collision course.

Lauren Belmore portrays Sister Aloysius, and Nick Canon plays the role of Father Flynn.

“In the beginning of the play, the priest says doubt can be as strong as faith,” Harris said. “I think the play doesn’t want you to resolve the issues. The ending is quite shattering and makes people think.”

— Lucinda Breeding

DOUBT: A PARABLE

What: UNT Department of Dance and Theatre Arts presents the play by John Patrick Shanley

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Studio Theatre, in the Radio, TV, Film and Performing Arts Building, 1179 Union Circle

Details: Tickets cost $10 for adults, $7.50 for UNT students, faculty, staff and senior citizens. For tickets, call 940-565-2428.