American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
A CAPTIVATING EQUATION
Rarely does a play unfold as perfectly as Proof. A riveting spellbinder brought to life before our eyes – funny and heartbreaking and vastly relatable. And at its core, Catherine, a sharp-edged young woman who has anchored herself in place with familial obligations and the weight of her own genius. But not everything is outside of her control – there’s much of her future still to be written, if she only has the courage to pick up the pen. David Auburn’s Pulitzer-Prize winner makes its debut in the Touchstone at last; a glorious close to this glorious season. Runs October 26 - November 19.
Catherine has lived alone with her father, who had once been a world-renowned mathematician, in order to care for him during a period of mental decline. But the nature of their conversations is starting to cause her to fear that she may share more with her father than a love of numbers. Complicating this is one of her father’s former students, Hal, combing through his journals for something of value, while anxiously wondering if his own best days are behind him at 28. And Catherine’s sister, Claire, who only wants the best for Catherine, though her motives may not be entirely unselfish. A poignant and surprisingly funny look at what we’re willing to sacrifice for those we love – and what we’re not. Contains adult themes and language.
A contemporary classic, 'Proof' at APT moves like music
Lindsay Christians, The Cap Times
American Players Theatre's 'Proof' probes how we know what we know
Anya Van Wagtendonk, Isthmus
If that mathematical expression above sent you into a sort of panic, please know that you do not have to understand it to enjoy our performance of Proof this evening. If you do understand the above proof - good for you. The play may bring you a specific joy, as plays about math are rare.
Math is a language, and a delight of a kind that has escaped me since 11th grade. That’s when I distinctly remember sitting in Mr. Hahn’s physics class and having the epiphany that I was not a “math person” – not part of this mysterious world of numbers. There was a very obvious distinction between those of us who looked confused and frustrated, and those who eagerly picked up their pencils, undaunted at the sight of all those tiny figures, and proceeded to “work the problem.” All I ever saw was problems.
This is something that many artists are willing to readily admit - “I am not a math person.” This statement is made with a kind of pride in some and with envy in others. Even so, we as artists get to step briefly and, yes, somewhat superficially into the worlds of our plays and dabble in the environment and ethos of a place we do not normally inhabit.
And what I have come to realize in our exploration of this world of mathematicians and theoretical math is that the pursuit is not unlike that of the theater artist. The boundless need for creativity, the singular mindset, the sacrifice and compromise to one’s life. And most importantly an unquenchable yearning for truth. In math they have the crazy desire to prove a truth, while we have the crazy desire to present truth on stage, so you can determine its validity.
But this play is about so much more than math.
In Proof, we explore the world of one who is gifted with genius and the effect of that genius on those around him. That singular focus; that unpredictable ride sweeping everyone up in its trajectory. When a person comes to understand they are gifted, what choice, what responsibility do they have but to follow where it may lead them? Where it may lead us? Toward beauty? Permanence? Importance? Truth? But we may also ask, at what cost? To whom? And to what end? Because nothing comes without a cost.
Brenda DeVita, Director of Proof