In our postmodern world where there seems to be no singular truth, and where subjectivity reigns, we put everything, including the award-winning play Doubt, under scrutiny. We sit down with esteemed award-winning director Samantha Scott-Blackhall to chat about Doubt and declare with certainty—for now at least—that it is a play to look out for.
Why did you choose to direct Doubt?
When I first read the play, I found it to be surprisingly simple. I said “This play won the Pulitzer Prize?” Playwright John Patrick Shanley’s genius lies in relating the complex nature of “doubt” in a deceptively simple yet hugely absorbing drama. How could I not direct this award-winning play?
What is Doubt is all about?
Doubt is about a priest (Lim Yu-Beng) who teaches in a Catholic school, and who is accused by the principal of the school (Nora Samosir) of sexually abusing a student. The student is a 12-year-old boy. There is no hard evidence to prove the priest’s guilt, nor support his innocence. This play, however, is more than just a suspense drama. It is about the very nature of “doubt.”
Do the characters have any dark secrets they are hiding from each other?
Each character hides a dark truth he is not willing to accept, let alone reveal to others. Their personal struggles are something all will be able to identify with.
What are some of the issues brought up in the play?
Doubt probes the challenges of a progressive society and a progressive church. It highlights the need for moral clarity. It questions the role of faith in both our public and private lives. It searches for a definition of sexual abuse. It considers teaching methods in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Will the play shed light on how one should draw the line between doubting and trusting?
The play does not draw a line. Rather, it highlights how faint the line can be. And sometimes, or most of the times, things are not simply black or white.
How has it been like working with Nora Samosir, Lim Yu-Beng and Pamela Oei?
These veteran actors have pushed every boundary with me. There is nothing they won’t try. They are also insane workaholics like me! It has been an absolute pleasure working with them. A lot of laughs, a lot of sweat but no blood…yet!