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Doubt – Press Release

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John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, timelier-than-ever
‘Doubt’ gets new production at International City Theatre


LONG BEACH, Calif. (July 12, 2016) — A riveting psychological drama that explores the fine line between truth and ambiguity, Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley is one of the most acclaimed plays in American theater history. Producing artistic director caryn desai [sic] helms a new production for an August 19 opening at International City Theatre. Two low-priced previews take place on Aug. 17 and Aug. 18.

When evidence seems to point to an inappropriate relationship between Father Flynn and a young Catholic school student, Principal Sister Aloysius is righteous in her certainty of his guilt. In her crusade to force Flynn out, she attempts to enlist the young novitiate Sister James and the boy’s mother as her allies. But is the situation as cut and dried as it seems?

Born in the Bronx, where this play is set, Shanley was raised Catholic and drew from his own educational experiences at the hands of the Sisters of Charity. “There was a quality of certainty being exercised around me that something in me was answering with something that felt very powerful called doubt,” he said. In the preface to the play, he writes “Doubt requires more courage than conviction does, and more energy, because conviction is a resting place and doubt is infinite.”

Shanley sets his parable in 1964, a time when the Catholic Church was encouraging a new open-mindedness and a change in spirit, as exemplified by the term aggiornamento (“updating”). In the play, the student in question is a young African American boy, the first black student at St. Nicholas school. Is Father Flynn protecting him – or preying on him?

“The ‘60s was such a tumultuous time, in the Church and also in our history,” says desai. “But the whole idea of conviction vs. doubt is now more timely than ever. We are so quick to rush to judgment in this world of social media and 24-hour news cycles. Justice demands we take more time to examine and weigh facts to avoid trying and convicting suspects in the court of public opinion.”

Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize as well as Tony, Drama Desk, New York Drama Critics’ Circle and Lucille Lortel awards for Best Play, Doubt received its world premiere at the Manhattan Theatre Club in November, 2004 and transferred to Broadway in March, 2005. In 2008, it was adapted by Shanley (who also directed) into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep.

The ICT production stars Eileen T’Kaye (recently seen at ICT in Other Desert Cities and Dead Man’s Cell Phone) as Sister Aloysius, Michael Polak (U.S premiere of The Best Brothers at Ensemble Theatre Company, Rabbit Hole at La Mirada Theatre) as Father Flynn, Erin Anne Williams (ICT productions of A Shayna Maidel and How the Other Half Loves) as Sister James and Tamika Simpkins (Black Women: State of the Union at Company of Angels, and Black Women: State of the Union – Taking Flight at Skylight Theatre Company) as Mrs. Muller.

The creative team includes set designer Christopher Scott Murillo, lighting designer Karyn D. Lawrence, costume designer Kim DeShazo, sound designer Dave Mickey, props designers Patty and Gordon Briles and hair and wigs designer Anthony Gagliardi. Casting is by Michael Donovan and the production stage manager is Victoria A. Gathe.

Doubt: A Parable runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Aug. 19 through Sept. 11. Two preview performances take place on Wednesday, Aug. 17 and Thursday, Aug. 18, both at 8 p.m. Tickets are $47 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $49 on Saturdays and Sundays, except opening night (Aug. 19), for which tickets are $55 and include a post-performance reception with the actors, and previews which are $35.

International City Theatre is located in the Long Beach Performing Arts Center at 330 East Seaside Way in Long Beach, CA 90802. For reservations and information, call the ICT Box Office at 562-436-4610 or

Details for Calendar Listings
Doubt: A Parable

Doubt: A Parable
— It is 1964, a time of movement and change, but Catholic school principal Sister Aloysius values a stern hand over progressive education. When evidence seemingly points to an inappropriate relationship between Father Flynn and the school’s first black student, she begins a crusade to force Flynn out. John Patrick Shanley’s riveting psychological drama examines the fine line between what seems certain and ambiguity, between conviction and doubt. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, as well as Tony, Drama Desk, New York Drama Critics’ Circle and Lucille Lortel awards for Best Play.

• Written by John Patrick Shanley
• Directed and Produced by caryn desai [sic]
• Starring Michael Polak, Tamika Simpkins, Eileen T’Kaye, Erin Anne Williams
• Presented by International City Theatre

Previews: Aug. 17 and Aug. 18 at 8 p.m.
Performances: Aug. 19 – Sept. 11

Wednesday at 8 p.m.: Aug. 17 only (preview)
Thursdays at 8 p.m.: Aug. 18 (preview), 25; Sept. 1, 8
Fridays at 8 p.m.: Aug. 19 (Opening Night), 26; Sept. 2, 9
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Aug. 20, 27; Sept. 3, 10
Sundays at 2 p.m.: Aug. 21, 28; Sept. 4, 11

Long Beach Performing Arts Center
330 East Seaside Way
Long Beach, CA 90802

562-436-4610 or

• Opening Night (Aug. 19) : $55 (includes post-show reception with the actors)
• Saturdays and Sundays: $49
• Thursdays and Friday (except Aug. 19): $47
• Previews: $35