Thorp said the experience Mack shared on the stage should reach audiences, and in particular Catholics, in order for the lessons from the crisis to remain unforgotten, while allowing the faithful to move on.
"He carries us forward with him by being vulnerable to share the very intimate and painful details of his past," Thorp said.
He said he has used the question and answer sessions from previous performances to develop the play further.
"Having created something like this, it is not enough to just say, 'OK, now it's done. Problem solved. Move on,'" said Mack.
"As I talked with people about it, it informed the play. It informed the shape that it took. That is another way that I feel that this is very much a community experience," Mack said.
"For several years I had, more or less, the show through the first three acts. The part that ended on the outrage, that could, 10 years ago, be a perfectly legitimate ending to really reflect the outrage that so many people in the Church and outside of the Church were feeling," he said.
For Mack, a time when a boy had a fearful encounter with a priest gave way to a time when a man set out to confront his abuser after years of struggling with his own sense of identity.
"I have to say that the word 'victim' is one that I have never been entirely comfortable with and I use the word personally kind of in quotes, because it suggests a kind of powerlessness. Certainly as a child I think that it was true. As a child I was a victim. As a man I don't have to be," Mack said.
Parishioners in the audience described their feelings immediately after the show.
"Is there something that we are offering to enable people both to articulate these things, I suppose, and to possibly be able to find some level of peace? Not closure, as Michael says, just a measure of peace," Laura Garcia, 56, a parishioner at St. Paul said, restating her question from the discussion segment.
"Theater offers that kind of communal sense that is healing. In this particular context, I think it can offer people some shared healing," said George Bard, 59, a parishioner at St. Paul.
Mack's next performance of the play will be held at the Paulist Center in Downtown Boston on June 16 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.michaelmacklive.com