‘Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You’ — The Sinful Silliness of Holy Humor

By Ernest Kearney — Frankly, I have always thought that Christopher Durang’s 1979 play, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You, was a lousy piece of playwriting – melodramatic, lacking in subtlety with sloppy crafted and painfully heavy handed themes.

However, my opinion isn’t worth beans, because when push comes to shove, Durang is damn funny, his play is damn funny, that big nun is damn funny, and if you’ve got “funny” you can get away with a lot.

Funny trumps everything.

Hell, if Hitler could have figured out a way of making the blitzkrieg into a laugh-fest he could have gotten away with overrunning all of Europe.

Director Jeramiah Peay has devised a smart and very serviceable set on which to release Durang’s antics and conducts them ably.

Chris Ramiez, Shayna Gabrielle, Lea Madda and William Potter play Sister Mary Ignatius’ former students, who show up intending on a final showdown with the nun who terrorized them as children; only to find that she is quite capable of terrorizing them as adults.

Potter gives his all as Aloysius, whose overactive bladder goes into warp drive in Sister Mary Ignatius’ presence.

Gabrielle —having the most difficult part in Durang’s piece, in which the melodramatic elements generally short-circuit the compassion one should feel for her pain— rises above the flaws in the writing and infuses humanity into Durang’s cartoon character.

Young Thomas, representing the next generation in danger of being ruined by the dogma dispensed by the play’s titular harpy in a habit, is well-played by Liam Risinger.

As Sister Mary Ignatius, Michael Mullen carries the weight of the whole show on his shoulders and manages this with the aplomb of Atlas in drag.

A very shiny…


Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolution

Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You

playing during Hollywood Fringe Festival 2022




520 N. Western Ave

Saturday June 18 2022, 3:30 PM
Saturday June 18 2022, 3:30 PM
Monday June 20 2022, 9:00 PM
Monday June 20 2022, 9:00 PM
Friday June 24 2022, 9:00 PM

(There are also virtual performances for June 18, 20 and 24)

For Additional Information and Tickets:



Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

No comments


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.