by:  John Patrick Shanley

Hangar Theatre
Ithaca, NY

director: Heath Cullens



Ithaca Journal

Wendy-Barrie-Wilson, who originated the role of Sister Aloysius in the play's European premiere, embodies her so directly and convincingly that you only gradually notice the subtleties of this excellent performance, the chinks in the nun's armor. Everybody, in fact, stands up to Sister Aloysius before the story's done, finding her intolerant, rigid, just plain wrong. Yet ironically, her behavior is itself spurred by skepticism - she doubts the friendly and charming demeanor of Father Flynn. Forget yourself and study others, she advises Sister James./....the arresting scene between Sister Aloysius and Mrs. Muller.

A firm disciplinarian, Sister indisputably knows right from wrong: Art and music lessons are a waste of time; and secular songs have no place in Christmas pageants. Frosty the Snowman reeks of a pagan belief in magic. But she's not simply another Sister Mary Ignatius, Chris Durang's comically monstrous incarnation of his own Catholic education; Sister Aloysius has a keen sense of unequivocal morality, especially where the safety of her young students is concerned. And she's willing to risk damnation to protect them. Stern, purposeful, single-minded, she is all about black and white.

Ithaca Times

Barrie-Wilson, who played Sister Aloysius in the play's European premiere, captures both the unflappable severity and the dry wit of the character. She relates to her students through intimidation rather than tenderness, but is willing to fight unflinchingly for their well-being. Sister Aloysius' tidy office is clearly defined even without walls, filled to capacity by the expansive presences of the actors. 


Syracuse Post- Standard

Shanley's play "Doubt," the season-opener at Hangar Theatre, held a preview audience spellbound on Wednesday with the taut drama of a struggle between a Roman Catholic nun and a pastor she believes to be a child molester. Like the Broadway production--Hangar's production makes it perfectly uncertain whether charismatic Father Flynn (Drew Battles) is a pedophile. But Sister Aloysius (Wendy Barrie-Wilson) is certain that he is. ...unlike the Broadway production, Cullens and his cast fully open up the play's potential for humor. The humor can't be captured in short quotes, but the audience's laughter at Hangar brings out the human warmth and depth of Shanley's intense play.

Barrie-Wilson is powerful in the role of Sister Aloysius -- a canny, dedicated and even likeable school principal with a sly wit and a mistrust of the male church hierarchy. But she sees things in black and white, and she is certain that she is God's chosen agent./.. the highest conflict and the greatest dramatic payoff come just before the end, when Sister Aloysius and Father Flynn, head to head, enter the final stage of their duel.


Friends :  Norm and Nancy Karp - (me) - Sally and Bob McClure- after the show in Ithaca NY.