Nashville theater audiences were treated to a wide range of dramatic offerings in 2010, with the revival of some of the best-known American plays of the past half-century, along with productions of some amazing original works by a group of talented homegrown playwrights, whose subjects ranged from what goes on in the intimate confines of the ladies' room to a murder mystery comedy with a film noir ambience. Clearly, if 2010 is any indication, the new 2011 season now under way is going to be filled with even more surprises and delights. So what productions ranked highest in my estimation? Here they are: First Night's Top Ten Plays of 2010...
Directed by Mike Fernandez. Presented by Lipscomb University Theatre. Provocative and compelling, John Patrick Shanley's script for Doubt
remains stagebound- albeit a Pulitzer Prize-winning, stagebound masterpiece - until a confident director and cast take on the challenge of mounting a production, in which to breathe life into the characters created so vividly by the playwright on the written page. Nashville audiences were given the opportunity to see Doubt
in a remarkably acted and superbly staged production at Lipscomb University's Shamblin Theatre. Staging Doubt
for Lipscomb's Christian Scholars’ Conference was a courageous choice for the Lipscomb theatre department, which is broadening its scope (word is that a master's program in theatre is in the offing at the university) and making its presence in Nashville's arts community felt far more strongly. Shanley's Doubt
, deserving of all its accolades and an excellent example of theatre as literature with its beautifully crafted dialogue and Shanley's uncanny ability to make even the most disturbing subject palatable and cause for much discussion, is particularly relevant in this day and age, what with the news filled with stories of religious figures straying over the line, as it were, to use their positions of authority to prey upon the weak and helpless.