Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You
(Included in the volume SISTER MARY IGNATIUS EXPLAINS IT ALL FOR YOU AND THE ACTOR'S NIGHTMARE)
THE STORY: Sister Mary Ignatius, a teaching nun who is much concerned with sin in all of its various forms, delivers a cautionary lecture to her charges. One of them, a precocious little boy named Thomas, can quote the Ten Commandments on cue, and each time he does so Sister Mary rewards him with a cookie. But when several of her former students turn up the picture darkens, along with Sister Mary’s indignation. One of them is the happy mother of an illegitimate child; another a contented homosexual; still another has had two abortions—the first after having been raped on the night of her mother’s death; while another student, now an alcoholic, contemplates suicide. Their stories are disturbing—but also very funny—and it is quickly apparent that one thing they all have in common is their loathing for Sister Mary and the unyielding dogma which she forced on them in their formative years. In the end there is mayhem and bloodshed but, with this, the unsettling feeling that, amid the laughter, some devastating truths have been told.
Winner of the Obie Award. Presented Off-Off-Broadway by New York’s noted Ensemble Studio Theatre, this biting irreverent and uproariously funny satire aims its barbs at organized religion and strikes home with hilarious results. “The play that dominates the evening is Mr. Durang’s saucy exercise in theological farce.” —The New Yorker. “It is one of those grand moments where an unbridled talent finally shows what he is capable of doing.” —Village Voice. “Mr. Durang has comic cookies up his sleeve, repeatedly dropping a nonsensical non sequitur in for a laugh.” —NY Times.