Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You was inspired by Christopher Durang’s upbringing in the Catholic Church. Durang was raised Catholic, and attended Catholic grammar and high schools. This play satirizes the teachings of the Church from the 1950s to the early 1970s, when religious dogma about such subjects as birth control and homosexuality were treated as incontrovertible facts. After this time period, the Ecumenical Council changed the manner of teaching in Catholic schools, making it less strict in nature. Durang highly encourages theatres to set the play in the early 1980s, so that the students who come back to confront Sister Mary would have been taught in this time period of religious teaching.
_Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You _was first presented at the Ensemble Theatre in New York, along with one-act plays by David Mamet and Tennessee Williams, on December 14, 1979. It was later transferred Off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizons on October 14, 1981, on a double bill with The Actor’s Nightmare by Christopher Durang. The play has enjoyed numerous productions around the country, with productions starring notable actresses such as Lynn Redgrave and Cloris Leachman in the role of Sister Mary Ignatius.