Cast of “Doubt” gets to work with Tony-Award Winning Actress


Cherry Jones with the Cast of Doubt during a Skype Conversation.


To have the ability to work with a Tony Award and Emmy Award winning actress like Cherry Jones, is an opportunity that most actors will never get.  This semester the cast of “Doubt” at Bethel University got the opportunity to have an insightful conversation with Jones, who won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress for her work in “Doubt.”

“To be a college student and to have the opportunity to work with someone who originated the role has left me speechless,” commented Faye Taylor, who is playing Sister Aloysius in the Bethel production.

“Her depth and capacity to create a life out of the words on a page gave me an unexplainable inspiration toward acting.” 

Jones gave the cast notes and shared her elaborate backstory behind the character of Sister Aloysius.  Providing a first hand perspective, she was able to prepare the cast for how to deal with the audience, and their reaction to the show. “Play Aloysius rigid and unyielding, and with 100% certainty,” Jones noted. “One-third of the audience will side with Aloysius, one-third will side with Flynn and one-third will be left scratching their head, and that is the beauty of this production.”

The play is set in 1964, at St. Nicolas Catholic Church and Elementary School in the Bronx. The crisply-written play focuses on the conversations between Sister Aloysius (Faye Taylor, Senior), the strict school principal, a more progressive and kindhearted Sister James (Chelsea Fuller, Senior) and Father Flynn (Jamie Sullivan, Senior), who is also the new-age parish priest.

Once Sister Aloysius suspects Father Flynn of committing a serious crime again the school's only African-American student, Donald Muller, she is determined to have Flynn removed from the school. In his defense, Father Flynn reminds Sister Aloysius “even if you feel certainty, it is an emotion and not a fact.” The audience is also introduced to Donald Muller’s cunning mother Mrs. Muller (Alexis Ward, Sophomore).

“I am thrilled for the opportunity and challenge of directing this complex production,” commented Travis McLeese, Director of Renaissance Relations who is directing this production.  “I remember seeing the production and walking out of the theatre speechless.” 

“The cast got the explicit opportunity to see inside the mind of the brilliant imagination of such an acclaimed and experienced actress,” added Chelsea M. Fuller who is playing Sister James. 

The Bethel cast is set to present the award winning play “Doubt” A Parable, written by John Patrick Stanley September 13 & 14 at 7:00 pm at the Bethel Performing Arts Center.

Jones is preparing her return to Broadway in September as Amanda Wingfield in a revival of “The Glass Menagerie,” which had a much-praised run this winter at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass. The Broadway run is currently set to run through early January 2014.

Tickets for Doubt are $10. All Bethel Faculty, Staff and Students receive free admission with Bethel ID. For more information or to reserve your tickets contact the Renaissance Office at 731-393-0405.