It’s hard to believe that the photo on the left belongs to the actress who is currently playing the fiercely driven, all-certain Sister Aloysius in Lakeshore Players Theatre production of Doubt. The Kari Steinbach that I have come to know gives thought and care to all her projects, listens to to other points of view and questions. Perhaps what Sister Aloysius and Kari Steinbach have in common is a passion. They just energize their passion differently. Sister Aloysius’s passion comes from her certainty and Kari Steinbach’s passion comes from careful reflection and questions. Below are some of her thoughts about working on John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt.
What attracted you to the project?
I was attracted to playing a multi-faceted character. I think the first response to Sister Aloysius is to think of her as evil or vicious. The challenge is to identify with her passion for doing what she feels is good and right—it may or may not be right and she may or may not use methods that are ethical, but she has no question that she should do what she does.
Any particular roadblocks or problems in dealing with the material?
Not really. It is a privilege to work with material of this caliber—that is another thing that attracted me to this project.
What has been the highlight of the rehearsal process?
The cast and production staff of this project have been wonderful to work with. It’s great to collaborate with people that care so much about doing good work.
Will people have preconceived notions if they have seen the movie?
I haven’t seen the movie. I had the opportunity to see Cherry Jones (the actress that originated the role of Sister Aloysius on Broadway) in the role when the production came to Minneapolis several years ago. At that time I didn’t know that I’d ever have the opportunity to be involved in the play. Once I was cast, I made a conscious decision not to see the movie—at least until after the run of the show is complete.
What will the audience take away with them after having seen the production?
I think this is a production that opens questions of doubt and certainty—whether they apply to faith, politics, ethics, or any number of issues. I’ve heard so many people talk about the deep conversations they’ve had with friends after seeing the movie. I hope that we can provoke the same kinds of discussions in our audiences.*
*For the record, the talk-back session evoked many conversations about the nature of “doubt,” perception, ethics and how it affects lives.
Lakeshore Players Theatre is offering a special “2 tickets for the price of 1′ good only for this Saturday, January 23rd at 8 p.m. Tickets are normally $18 and $20. Simply call the Box Office (651-429-5674) and mention the word “Parable” when ordering. It’s as simple as that.
Directed by Kevin T. Houle, Doubt runs at Lakeshore Players through February 7, 2010.