The play is a fictional story about a nun who investigates a priest who is allegedly having an inappropriate
relationship with a young boy at a Catholic school in the Bronx in 1964.
The nuns, however, have no authority over the priests, so it’s a struggle to prove their case.
“A lot of things happen and when the audience leaves they’re not sure what happened,” said Tom Alsip, the
play’s director. “They don’t know if the priest is guilty or innocent, or what happens to the nuns.
“You come in and you watch the play and that’s Act 1. Act 2 is when you go home with your friends and
family and discuss what you think happened.”
Alsip is a graduate student at UA seeking his master’s of fine arts in directing in the department of theatre
and dance. This is his directorial debut in Tuscaloosa.
“I was living in New York when the original play came out, and I was lucky enough to see it in 2005 with the
original cast,” he said. “I always said that if I ever had a chance to direct it I would. That’s why this was the
play for me.”
The play was originally written by John Patrick Shanley. It won a 2005 Pulitzer for drama and a Tony
Award for best play.
It was made into a movie in 2008 staring Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Viola Davis and Amy
Adams. It was nominated for multiple Academy Awards for best screenplay, best actress and best
The four-person cast includes three UA students and Ava Buchanan, a long-time actress with
Theatre Tuscaloosa. She plays the nun, Sis. Aloysius.
“It’s a great play,” Alsip said. “It’s a contemporary play that interfaces well with today’s society. It’s what a
lot of plays strive to be. It’s a play that people will talk about, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.”
The play will be performed at the Allen Bales Theatre, Sept. 19-23 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sept. 25 at 2 and 7:30
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Rowand-Johnson Hall at the ticket office, at UA.tix.com or by
phone at 205-348-3400.
The department of theatre and dance is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest
division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous
national awards included Rhodes and Goldwater scholarships.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a
student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community
committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving
excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and
service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters
collegiality, respect and inclusivity.