Viola Davis, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Mrs. Miller, in the film, is only in two scenes. The first is an extended dialogue with Meryl Streep's character, Sister Aloysius. In the second, she appears only for about 10 seconds and does not speak.
The street scenes of the Church and School, were actually shot in the Bronx, NY, where author Shanley grew up, and was in front of St. Anthony's Church and School, a school that Shanley is reported to have attended. The Catholic School closed permanently in June of 2013.
The Broadway play ran for over a year at the Walter Kerr Theatre, with 525 performances. The original cast was: Cherry Jones (Sister Aloysius), Brían F. O'Byrne (Father Flynn), Heather Goldenhersh (Sister James) and Adriane Lenox (Mrs. Miller). All four were nominated for a Tony award. The play won four Tony awards: Best Play, Best Director (Doug Hughes), Best Actress (Jones), and Best Featured Actress (Lenox). Author John Patrick Shanley wrote both the stage play and the screenplay adaptation.