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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Students ready powerful Spotlight production of ‘Doubt: A Parable’


On Jan. 18, the Spotlight Players’ powerful production of “Doubt: A Parable” opens in the Black Box Theatre. To make headway on the arduous production process, students returned to campus as early as last Sunday from winter break.

The Spotlight Players are a subdivision of Loyola’s theatre group called the Evergreen Players. Directed by Taylor Fluehr ’20, “Doubt” joins such shows as last year’s “Circle Mirror Transformation” and 2017’s “W;t” in the Spotlight production series.

Not only noteworthy for being one of two student-led and directed shows during the school year, Spotlight is special for donating its earnings to a charity that corresponds to the message of the production.

Spotlight is also the only production for which students return from break early. Among this group are the four members of the cast, including Joe Doyle ’21 as Father Flynn, returning to the Spotlight stage after his role in “Circle Mirror Transformation.”

“My first spotlight show was a remarkable experience. I worked with talented people who were motivated to create a great show for a cause bigger than themselves,” Doyle said. “This year has been no different, with a cast and crew bringing together a powerful show that addresses a number of topical issues.”

These issues include the sexual assault scandal in the Catholic Church, which recently impacted the Loyola campus in December with the naming of seven former Loyola-affiliated Jesuits. Fluehr understands that though this play’s “scandal takes place in the 1960’s, [the issue of sexual abuse in the Church] is still prominent.”

How these traumatic events affect one’s mental health was of special concern to Fluehr, who notes that this often goes unconsidered. The proceeds from tickets will benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Last semester, the Baltimore branch of NAMI visited campus during the “I Will Listen” campaign. In addition, John Patrick Shanley’s script also hints at racism and homophobia.

As made explicit by its title, this play may not have a concrete resolution. Fluehr states that she wants audiences to “hopefully walk away not having a clear outcome” and “walk in expecting one thing and walk out feeling another.”

Doyle expresses a similar desire for what audiences gain from seeing the show.

“Nothing is black and white, and it is in those gray areas of uncertainty that we really connect with other people. Sometimes a little doubt is necessary for us to really understand each other,” Doyle said.

In addition to the actors and director, many other students came back in roles ranging from designers to build crew to management team.

“It was so amazing to see everyone come together,” Fluehr said. Fluehr describes preparation for the production to be an “intimate” experience that felt more like “summer camp” than school.

To see “Doubt: A Parable” and support the efforts of NAMI, tickets are on sale at the Box Office now. 


Feature Photo:  Courtesy of the “Doubt: A Parable” crew.

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Students ready powerful Spotlight production of ‘Doubt: A Parable’