May 31, 2005 > The 'Proof' is in the playhouse
The 'Proof' is in the playhouse
by Joanne Engelhardt
Stage 1 Community Theatre will present the 2001 Tony Award winning and Pulitzer
Prize-winning drama, Proof, by David Auburn, beginning Friday, June 10,
"Proof" tells the tale of one-time genius mathematician, Robert, who lost a good share of his faculties after completing his best work when in his early twenties. "I went bughouse," as he puts it. His devoted daughter Catherine, also mathematically inclined, attends to him, while older sister Claire moves away. But when Robert dies and Claire comes back for the funeral, complications arise. It is Catherine's 25th birthday, and one of
Robert's former students, Harold "Hal" Dobbs, has begun going through the 100 or so notebooks the one-time genius has left behind, hoping to find a bit of the brilliance
somewhere in the pages that seem to only be filled with a madman's scribbling.
Then a notebook surfaces that contains what is, indeed, an impressive mathematical
theorem about prime numbers, i.e., a 'proof.' Catherine claims the work is hers,
not her father's, something both Hal and Claire find hard to believe. All Claire wants
to do is sell the house and take her sister to New York to get her some decent medical treatment. Catherine herself knows she isn't in quite a right state of mind. Her great
fear is of winding up like her father.
How it all turns out is what lucky theatergoers will learn. Note that this play is
not recommended for children under 10.
Directed by Donna Foley, the production examines trust, love, duty and sanity by
combining elements of mystery and surprise with old-fashioned storytelling to provide
a compelling evening of theatre.
"Proof" runs for three weekends (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.) through June 25 in the Black Box Theatre of Newark Memorial High School, 39375 Cedar Blvd., Newark. To purchase tickets call (510) 791-0287.