‘Doubt’ on stage at Quin­nip­iac’s new The­ater Arts Cen­ter

Pro­duc­tion set in univer­sity’s new The­ater Arts Cen­ter

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Clare Dig­nan

“Our abil­ity to pro­duce the­ater the way we want to has in­creased 10 times over since this move.” Kevin Daly, direc­tor of the the­ater pro­gram at Quin­nip­iac

HAMDEN — The Quin­nip­iac Univer­sity the­ater pro­gram is mak­ing its de­but in a new The­ater Arts Cen­ter with sold-out per­for­mances this week­end.

The 12,000-square-foot space at 515 Sher­man Ave. is ded­i­cated for all the­ater and mu­si­cal pro­duc­tions in place of the Buck­man The­ater on the main cam­pus. The new space fea­tures a cos­tume shop, light­ing and man­age­ment booths, dress­ing rooms, stor­age ar­eas, a ticket booth lobby, class­rooms and a scene shop to build sets.

“Our abil­ity to pro­duce the­ater the way we want to has in­creased 10 times over since this move,” said Kevin Daly, direc­tor of the the­ater pro­gram at the univer­sity.

The de­but pro­duc­tion in the new build­ing will be the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award win­ning play “Doubt, a Para­ble” by John Pa­trick Shan­ley. Its direc­tor, Tom Sch­wans, a part-time act­ing teacher at the univer­sity and ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Guer­rilla Shakespeare Pro­ject, said the pro­duc­tion value of the per­for­mances will be much stronger in the new cen­ter.

“It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing to step into new space,” he said. “Since we are ca­pa­ble of much more, we should be reach­ing for much more. I don’t want to be­lit­tle any­thing or any­body be­cause what we did and what we are was al­ways im­por­tant, but there’s an abil­ity now to re­ally pro­duce

the art.”

Sch­wans said the depart­ment’s cre­ative ca­pa­bil­i­ties were lim­ited in Buck­man The­ater and the for­mer black box the­ater, which has been re-pur­posed as a re­li­gious cen­ter. They were not able to build real sets or adapt the lay­out of the au­di­ence to suit the pro­duc­tion.

“The space didn’t lend it­self to the grand na­ture of the­ater,” he said. Now, the depart­ment is able to cre­ate a pro­fes­sional the­atri­cal pro­duc­tion, since the ver­sa­tile space is closer to the re­al­ity of the­ater out­side a univer­sity and of­fers a higher stan­dard of pro­fes­sion­al­ism, Sch­wans said.

The play is set in 1964 in a fic­tional Catholic school where an scan­dalous ac­cu­sa­tion is made against the par­ish priest. Nick Fether­ston, a fresh­man from Ash­land, Mass., plays Father Flynn. Ni­co­lette Fino, a se­nior from Marl­boro, N.J., plays Sis­ter Aloy­sius. Tess Adams, a fresh­man from North Salem, N.Y., plays Sis­ter James and Joy Alino, a sopho­more from Strat­ford, plays Mrs. Muller.

Fether­ston said the show has the po­ten­tial to be one of the bet­ter pro­duc­tions by the the­ater pro­gram with the new fa­cil­ity.

Adams said the in­vest­ment in the cen­ter shows the the­ater pro­gram is on the rise and the univer­sity is ded­i­cated to its devel­op­ment. She hopes it will be a cre­ative out­let for the greater Hamden com­mu­nity to see the art the depart­ment will be pro­duc­ing.

“We fi­nally have some­thing to let the­ater grow,” Fino said.

The play deals with the power of hav­ing un­cer­tainty in ques­tion­able sit­u­a­tions, Sch­wans said, where the search for truth goes as far as it sup­ports the char­ac­ter’s con­vic­tions.

“The mo­ment you are will­ing to ad­mit doubt is the mo­ment when you will ac­tu­ally grow,” he said. “The mo­ment of doubt is where the real con­ver­sa­tions be­gin for the truth.”

The play runs Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. There will be a wait list at the door about one hour be­fore each per­for­mance for any­one who did not buy a ticket to leave their name on the list.

Cather­ine Aval­one / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Quin­nip­iac Univer­sity the­ater stu­dents take part in a re­hearsal for a pro­duc­tion of “Doubt.”

Cather­ine Aval­one / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

Quin­nip­iac Univer­sity stu­dents re­hearse for a pro­duc­tion of “Doubt.”

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