Doubt was inspired by a relative’s experience with a priest who was convicted of child molestation. The backdrop for the play is set in 1964 at St. Nicholas, a Catholic church and school in the Bronx, New York. The characters within the play are:
Father Flynn: an articulate and compassionate priest accused of sexually abusing Donald Muller, the first, and only, black student to attend St. Nicholas.
Sister James: a young, impressionable, perhaps naïve, nun and teacher who may have smelled alcohol on Donald Muller’s breathe after spending time with Father Flynn.
Sister Aloysius: a domineering, stoic, strict pedagogue, whose certainty of Flynn’s guilt serves as a major through line throughout the play.
Mrs. Muller: The mother of Donald Muller is faced with the difficult decision of choosing between her son’s safety in the school, or at home with an abusive father.
Doubt: A Parable ran on Broadway from March 31, 2005 to July 2, 2006 and won four Tony awards in 2005, [ Best Play, Best Direction of a Play (Doug Hughes), Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play (Cherry Jones), Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play (Adriane Lenox)], and the Pulitzer Prize for drama .
In 2007, production began for Doubt, the movie. Adapted for the screen and directed by Shanley, the movie starred Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Father Flynn), Meryl Streep (Sister Aloysius), Viola Davis (Mrs. Muller, ‘Miller’ in the film), and Amy Adams (Sister James). In 2009, the movie received five Academy award nominations, four best actor nominations, for the aforementioned, and one for best screenplay, Shanley. Doubt’s acclaim and accolades are in part due to the questions and subjectivities that arise throughout it (Doubt. (n.d.). In IMDB online. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0918927/).