Doubt: A Parable – audition

Doubt: A Parable

By John Patrick Shanley

Date & Time: 28 November - 2 December 2017

7:30pm (2:30pm matinee, Saturday 2 December)

Venue: Old Fire Station Theatre, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Director: Josh Hall

Assistant Director: Cate Nunn


What price the truth?

Rehearsals will take place three times per week on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. A draft rehearsal schedule can be found here. The final rehearsal schedule will take account of any unavailability of cast members. Rehearsals will take place in the URC hall, Summertown, unless otherwise specified.

Please note cast will be required to assist with other aspects of the show such as marketing.

Get-in, tech and dress rehearsal: Sunday and Monday 25th/26th March. We ask all cast to make themselves available during the process, with timings to be communicated early in the rehearsal process.

The get-out will take place immediately after the final performance on Saturday 31st March and will require all cast and crew.

About the play


This classic play has seldom been more timely, as we find ourselves in a ‘post-truth’ era in which ideology is increasingly favoured over facts. It plots the conflict, in 17th century Italy, between Galileo Galilei and the Roman Catholic Church, over the place of the earth in the universe. Galileo advocates the heretical view that the earth revolves around the sun, rather than standing motionless at the centre of all creation. The threat that this idea poses to the authority of the Church and aristocracy, and to long-cherished beliefs about the primacy of humans and their privileged relationship with God, confronts Galileo with imprisonment and the prospect of torture at the hands of the Inquisition. He is forced to weigh self-preservation against the pursuit of truth and his mission to establish a new age of science.

Brecht’s masterpiece provides powerful drama laced with wry humour. It deals in an accessible way with grand themes, setting them in the context of the emotional relationships — between mentor and pupils, father and daughter, lovers — of the protagonists caught up in the conflict between dogma and science. It conveys the thrill of discovering the terrible beauty of the cosmos, and illuminates the efforts of the powerful to control popular belief. It requires a large to very large cast, offering a variety of roles to many actors. David Hare, whose version we will perform, is one of our greatest contemporary playwrights.

Important Dates

First round auditions:

Thursday 6 July - 7.30pm

Sunday 9 July - 6pm

Wednesday 12 July - 7.30pm

Auditions take place at the URC in Summertown

Recalls (by invitation only):

Sunday 23 July - 6pm

Map to the URC


In my opinion the place and time of this play is incredibly important and negating the accents will detract from the final production. Because of this I would ask for the cast to use American accents. If recent OTG productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, Measure for Measure, Proof and All My Sons are anything to go by, I am confident of assembling a cast that can do this to best effect. Whilst I would be interested to see if cast can do a dialect more specific to New York/The Bronx, General American accents will also be fine.

SISTER ALOYSIUS BEAUVIER – 30’s-60’s (character written to be in her fifties or sixties but could be younger) – Head nun and principle of the school. She is straight laced, strict and traditional in her values. Despite being driven by a high sense of duty there is more to Aloysius than her facade.

FATHER BRENDAN FLYNN - 30’s-60’s (script says he is in his late forties but could be either older or younger) – Flynn is personable, charismatic and forward thinking. He is evidently adored by the children of the school and popular amongst the nuns, his peers and the congregation. But does he have dark secrets?

SISTER JAMES – 20’s-30’s – A teacher at the school. The script describes her by saying “There’s a bit of sunshine in her heart, though she’s reserved as well”. She is optimistic and enthusiastic, but also naive and inexperienced as a teacher. Sister James is the only character to be modelled directly on a real person (Margret McEntree, known by her confirmation name Marita James who taught John Patrick Shanley when he was a child. She became technical advisor on the film version).

MRS MULLER – late 20’s to early 40’s – BAME casting. The mother of Donald Muller. She is only in one scene but it is a good length, integral and evocative. She would accept absolutely anything if it meant her child could stay at the school. Her partner, Donald’s father, is abusive and she would accept absolutely anything if it meant her child could stay at the school. This role is for an actor with a contrasting ethnicity from our predominantly white auditionees. If you know anyone who wouldn't normally come to our auditions and would be interested in auditioning, please do pass these details on to them.

In relation to the above: the play centres on racial politics and so we will be giving careful consideration to which combinations work during the casting process; in particular Sister Aloysius is written as white in contrast to Mrs Muller. However, we welcome auditionees regardless of ethnicity. If you would like to discuss these issues with the director in advance of the auditions do get in touch at

Auditions will be held at the URC in Summertown opposite South Parade. It is very close to bus stops from the city centre and north Oxford, and there is some street parking nearby. On the 6th and 12th of July we will be in the church itself, but on the 9th and for the recalls on the 23rd we will be in the church hall. The hall is at the rear of the church – follow the path down the right hand side of the church.

Please come in time to start at the advertised time and be prepared to stay for up to 2 hours. There is no need to prepare anything beforehand - you'll be given a selection of short monologues and scenes on the night.

It would be helpful if you could bring a completed audition form, but forms will also be available on the day.

If you have any specific needs with regards to access or any other issues, please do get in contact with Josh, who will help if he can.

Once you have auditioned you may be invited to a recall on the 23rd. Please be aware that not being invited to the recall does not necessarily mean you have not been cast.

All auditionees shall be notified of final casting during the week beginning the 24th of July.

All OTG auditions are run according to the OTG audition policy.

What if I can’t make those dates and times?

If you are interested in auditioning, but are unable to come to any of the given dates, please contact Josh and he will try to see you at another time, if possible.