, Salem, MA


April 18, 2013

Lessons from Sister

'Late Night Catechism' comes to Larcom Theatre in Beverly

BEVERLY — Anyone who had strict teachers in school probably didn’t think they were funny.

But “Late Nite Catechism,” a play that re-creates a parochial school classroom, has proved to be so hilarious that it has spawned six sequels since debuting 20 years ago.

“Everything I talk about is true, I don’t make anything up,” said Maripat Donovan, who co-wrote the play with Vicki Quade, and the sequels with Marc Silvia. “You’re going to learn a lot about Catholicism, whether you want to or not.”

The play, which will be at the Larcom Theatre in Beverly for 16 performances starting Tuesday, is presided over by a nun in full habit known simply as Sister.

She leads the audience through lessons in doctrine, explains the nature of sin and asks lots of questions.

“It’s all about having a conversation,” Donovan said. “That’s the secret to it. Most of the material comes from improvisation. Sometimes the audience gives you the joke.”

Sister has also been known to discipline any “pupils” who dare to wear revealing clothing or display other inappropriate behaviors.

“Keeping in mind it’s a comedy, and we want to have fun — why don’t you come to the play chewing gum?” Donovan said.

Donovan said she got the idea for the play at dinner one night, where she started telling stories about the lives of the saints, and her friends were all laughing.

“One friend says, ‘This is really funny stuff, you should do something about this,’” she said.

The play, which was named “Late Nite Catechism” because its first performances were held at 11 p.m., was originally slated to run for 12 shows over six weeks.

It has drawn audiences continually since then, moving from stage to stage in Chicago as theaters shut down but continuing to draw audiences.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Orchid North Shore Gardener: It’s the summer without hydrangeas August "Fairest of the months! Ripe summer's queen, the hey-day of the year, with robes that gleam with sunny sheen Sweet August doth appear." -- R. Combe Miller Q: Can you tell me why my numerous "Endless Summer" hydrangea plants are not blooming th

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr. Kate: 8 strategies to help your child overcome a fear of bullies Despite the massive anti-bullying campaigns that dominate our current culture, many students continue to feel bullied. The current anti-bullying campaign focuses on decreasing bullying by policing the bullies, but what about empowering the victims? B

    August 1, 2014

  • booknotes0801 Stroll through a story at Danvers library Reading can be good for the body as well as the mind. That's especially true for visitors of the new StoryWalk at Peabody Institute Library of Danvers. "StoryWalk is combining physical activity with reading," said Karen Veilleux, a children's librar

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • frenkel Quick pick: Bring stories to life Bring stories to life Explore and experience the challenges and satisfactions of combining text with images in a four-session illustration workshop, led by award-winning published illustrator Yetti Frenkel at the Abbot Public Library, 235 Pleasant St

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV Outlander [Duplicate] 'Outlander' brings novels to life vibrantly NEW YORK -- There's an odd believability you find inside "Outlander" that somehow makes it feel true-to-life. Never mind that it's a rip-roaring fantasy. Claire, a lovely British Army nurse on a second honeymoon in Scotland, is mysteriously swept fr

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Dear Abby: Diabetic friend suffers close call miles away from hospital Dear Abby: My husband and I have a lake house and invited a couple (close friends) to join us for a few days. The husband has cancer and has been taking chemo. We wanted them both to rest, as the wife is his only caregiver. We all thought this would

    August 1, 2014

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, Aug. 1

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thursday's Best Bets Best Bets for Thursday, July 31

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • homecoming1 Festivals in Salem and Beverly celebrate cities' heritage

    Salem Heritage Days and Beverly Homecoming, both of which start this weekend, are roughly the same age. "This is the 49th year," said Bruce Doig, director of parks and recreation in Beverly. "The most recent form of homecoming started in 1966 as a wa

    July 31, 2014 6 Photos

  • 140723_SN_DLE_MINER5 For artist Nathan Miner, it’s not what you see, but how Visitors can see five paintings by Nathan Miner, and watch one being created, at Montserrat College of Art this summer. That's because the gallery where the artist's works are hanging includes a studio where he will be working until Aug. 14, in a co

    July 31, 2014 5 Photos

NDN Video
Comments Tracker