By: Tonya Jackson
Lawrence C. Gamell, Jr. is an actor of stage, screen, and television. On Saturday evening he and his cast presented “Doubt” at Pensacola State College’s Ashmore Auditorium. The cast included Gamell as Father Flynn, Josephine Mayo as Sister Aloysius, Jessica McMillan as Sister James, and Tara Fiya Moorer as Mrs. Muller. Gamell also directed this production.
“Doubt: A Parable” was written by playwright John Patrick Stanley and is a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play. It was first performed on stage in November 2004 and was adapted as a screenplay in 2008. As a movie it starred Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
In preparing for this production Gamell took the role of the Irish Catholic Father Flynn and gave him a new backstory. He says, “Born in Nigeria, adopted at an early age by John and Mary Flynn, missionaries from London, England. Educated in Europe and received various degrees. He became a Priest by age 20, moved to the US by the age of 30, and arrived at St. Nicholas Parish by 1963.”
Gamell’s changes to Father Flynn refreshes this production. The push by Sister Aloysius to find Father Flynn guilty adds fuel to “Doubt” and reveals more about the Sister than the Father. “Doubt” does not state if Father Flynn is guilty or innocent, it leaves the viewer with doubt.
Larry Williams raved, “I loved the play. It was simple and not a lot of costume or scene changes. It was an opportunity to really see the craft of acting.”
Gamell states, “I try to bring something to the community from time to time, I don’t have a set schedule for it. I was at another location, but it was a challenge to get people to attend. It’s still a challenge sometimes to get people to come out, but once they do they enjoy the theater experience.” When asked about current projects he answered, “I’m currently working on the movie ‘Trepanation.’”
Gamell teaches acting, theater, and movie making classes. He also offers one-on-one classes. Anyone interested in his classes should contact the Continuing Education Department at Pensacola State College, 850-484-1797.
If you missed “Doubt” you can watch Gamell in the movie “Ardennes Fury.”
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