how do I portray a nun, so that I can do a realistic portrayal?

Dear Father,

I have to do a play in my drama class where I have to portray a nun giving a talk on Catholicism, and I am having trouble with the part-how do I portray a nun, so that I can do a realistic portrayal? Is it at all a sinful act to play a nun when I am not one? Could you provide/point me in the way of some information on these two regards...Also is there any information that you know about the Spanish Inquisition? Thankyou so much for your time.

Grateful but confused,


P.S. Once again thankyou for any information and your thoughts.


Dear Ruby,

It is not sinful to portray a nun in a drama. I think the problem is that nuns (and priests) are often presented as stereotypes. By that I mean cardboard, two-dimensional characters. For a three dimensional portrayal, have you read Power and the Glory by Graham Greene? It is about a whiskey priest who has broken his vows by living with a woman. Not a great role model, but a novel you will never forget. Also Diary of a Country Priest is marvellous. The best modern author, as far as I am concerned is Jon Hassler. Fr. Andrew Greeley is a mixed bag. Even though some of his novels are pretty good and even though he himself is priest, sometimes his characters are quite stereotypical.

About nuns. If you want to understand one from the inside, I highly recommend Story of a Soul by Therese of Lisieux. Unfortunately most modern portrayal of nuns have been worse than those done about priests.

Here is a balanced article on the Spanish Inquisition.

Good luck, Ruby. And God bless.

Fr. Bloom


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