Eric Rowe – Staff Writer
The stage is set. The actors are meeting for final rehearsals with their student director, senior Nathan Sparks. The tech crew is figuring out lighting and sound cues. The cast of the theater production, Doubt, which will run in the New World Theatre Feb. 27 to March 1, talked with the Diamond about their experiences and what has gone into preparing for the play. There are only four members of the cast: freshman Kyle Fosse, senior Shannon Spargo, junior Lauren Bird, and junior Brandi Buchanan who play the roles of Father Flynn, Sister Aloysius, Sister James and Mrs. Muller.
Doubt follows the controversy surrounding a progressive new priest. The staunch older nun who runs the local parish school thinks he may have done something very inappropriate, although he denies it. Doubt deals with themes of doubt, assumption and the tension between progressive and traditional ideas.
How does the uncertain nature of the play affect your acting?
Bird: We are all sort of on edge. It’s interesting to work with a script that is so open ended. It challenges the actors as well as the audience.
Buchanan: All the actors differ in who they think is right. Kyle has his theory. We can all go at the situation differently.
Spargo: It’s helped that we’ve discussed what we think through rehearsals. The different vantage points helped me see Sister Aloysius as a fuller character.
What was it like working with Nathan?
Spargo: It was amazing. He is one of the theatre greats. Being around him, I feel like I can absorb some of his stage presence.
Buchanan: Working with Nathan was new. I’ve seen him as an actor before, but I had never seen him in any other capacity.
Fosse: It’s unique. He has different methods. One time he came on stage and sat. He followed us around on stage while we were acting and it was super distracting. None of my other directors had ever done that.
How have you come to appreciate your character?
Fosse: This is the character that I’ve felt the most emotionally engaged with. It’s been good getting to know him.
Spargo: I liked her strength and gumption. Sparks wanted us to believe in our characters and believe in them as people. There is a lot more to her than I saw at first. I have enjoyed exploring her dynamic ups and downs.
Bird: She is similar to me, but she expresses her emotions more. It’s fun to explore someone who is kind of the same, but kind of different.
How have you grown through the process of this play?
Spargo: I’ve realized the power of not moving. Sparks never let us move. He’s all about subtle movements and vocalization.
Fosse: It’s been a good experience. This is the first really serious role I’ve ever done so it’s been different for me but fun.
What is unique about working on a senior show?
Bird:I’ve never been in a senior show before. It was fun, but there was a professional aspect too.
Buchanan: The only shows I’ve been in before have been senior shows. We get a lot more one on one experience with the director.
Spargo: It’s different with such a tiny cast. I love how it feels. They’re perfectly cast in their roles. They are solid human beings and really good actors.