Doubt: An Interview with Shelby Noelle Gist
AOTC: Please introduce yourself!
Shelby: My name is Shelby Noelle Gist. I am the assistant director and I play Mrs. Muller.
AOTC: What is your favorite character moment in Doubt?
Shelby: My favorite moment in Doubt is when Sister Aloysius and I discuss acceptance and rules. It's so telling of both their life experiences.
AOTC: What was the funniest moment in rehearsal?
Shelby: Once during rehearsal, Kim came to answer the door when I had knocked and I held the door knob so she couldn't open it and she thought she had locked the door somehow.
AOTC: What was your "Ah-Ha!" moment? When did you click with your character as an actor?
Shelby: There was a moment on opening night right before I went on stage, I realized Mrs. Muller lies to Sister Aloysius about her husband having work. Mrs. Muller never told her husband of the appointment because she know it would make him more angry and lash out at Donald.
AOTC: What is your character's relationship to truth? How do they find it? What is their source for truth?
Shelby: Mrs. Muller often talks about what she knows. She finds truth in asking the hard questions and working hard at whatever the out come might be. She says, "You accept what you accept and you work with it." As a black woman in America, she knows how to navigate the world and who she can trust.
AOTC: What is your personal relationship to truth? How do you find it? What is your source for truth?
Shelby: I truly believe that life imitates art. We see plays like this about a gay black child possibly being abused. There have been at lease 22 trans black women killed this year alone, but its not spoken about because they are so low on the privileged totem pole. If I could ask one questions to Sister Aloysius it would be why she hasn't talked to Donald since Father Flynn had left. Now that the threat is gone, why hasn't she asked him? As a black person it's really hard to hear stories like this when we never get to see the face of Donald. We talk about him but he never gets any conclusion.