The picture depicts a Mother Superior (played by Busch) teaching a young Catholic school student how to hold a baseball bat. Dolan felt it perpetuated "cheap laughs at the expense of a bigoted view of the most noble women around."
Here is how the show's producers responded:
"Charles Busch is a wonderfully talented playwright who for decades has lovingly parodied classic Hollywood films in his work. His newest play, The Divine Sister, continues that tradition as a comic homage to nearly every Hollywood film involving nuns: "The Song of Bernadette," "The Bells of St. Mary’s," "The Singing Nun" and "Agnes of God."
"The image the New York Times ran on Friday, October 15, 2010 of The Divine Sister shows Mother Superior teaching Timothy how to properly hold a baseball bat. This scene references the classic 1945 film "The Bells of St. Mary’s" where Ingrid Bergman as Sister Mary Benedict gives a young boy boxing lessons.
"The Divine Sister is not a commentary on religious faith; it is a joyous look at these films. While our show is indeed irreverent, it is a celebration of the nuns in those iconic works, with a wink and a smile.
"Since we began performances, audiences of all faiths have loved the show. In addition, critics, including the New York Times, have universally embraced The Divine Sister as “comic heaven” (NY1) and “a miracle” (New York Magazine)."