Conflict in dramatic literature usually involves a "right" and a "wrong" with the script usually tilted toward the "good guys." In his acclaimed drama, playwright John Patrick Shanley leaves ample room for "Doubt."
In this finely crafted and deeply involving production, now on stage at Golden West College, a priest is suspected by a stern nun, principal of the parochial school, of molesting a young boy, the only African American child in his parish, this being 1964. He vehemently denies it; she, even more determined, vows to report him and, if nothing else, damage his reputation.
Director Tom Amen, in his last outing before a year's sabbatical, has mounted a superb interpretation of this morally challenging play, eliciting outstanding performances not only from the priest and the principal but also from the two supporting female roles, a nervous young nun and the boy's troubled mother.
Because of these richly defined portrayals, "Doubt" likely will divide its audiences, which appears to be the playwright's intent. Both sides are given strong conviction by a pair of superb performers.