Proof

  • Feb 11 – Feb 13, 2010 7:30 PM
  • Feb 18 – Feb 19, 2010 7:30 PM
  • Feb 27, 2010 7:30 PM
  • McArdle Theatre

The Michigan Tech Theatre Company will present David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize winning play "Proof" on February 11-13 and 18-19 in McArdle Theatre (Walker Arts & Humanities Center), and February 27 at the Calumet Theatre, at 7:30 p.m.

"Proof" won the 2001 Tony, Drama Desk, and New York Drama Critics' Circle awards as well as the Pulitzer.   A mystery set on a college campus among an assortment of eccentric, math-savvy academics, it may be a perfect fit for Michigan Tech, although, as the awards attest, it appeals to a wide audience.   As one reviewer wrote, "You don't have to know what a prime number is to understand every word of the smart, fast-paced dialogue or to relate to the wonderfully drawn characters."

A young woman, the daughter of a college professor, drops out of school to care for her ailing father.  When he dies, her older sister and a former student of her father's rush in to take charge, to help her out.  The young woman seems diffident, unfocused, unsure of herself.  But she rejects help, confirming the impression that she's unstable, probably succumbing to the mental illness that consumed her father's life.  

Then the young woman claims to have written a brilliant proof for a problem which has stumped mathematicians for years.  Her sister and her father's former student can't believe she wrote it.  A great deal is at stake in the three lives and their relationships as they try to figure out whose judgment, whose integrity, can be trusted--and whether an inherited illness will make all other questions irrelevant.  In any case, what will become of a gifted daughter who finds herself better accepted as family caregiver and dependent than as (no one can imagine it) a math prodigy?

The cast for this production includes Michigan Tech students Nicole Kangas, Trish Goggin, and Frank Sopjes, with faculty member Dennis Kerwin.  Designers for the production are faculty members Kalen Larson and Mary Carol Friedrich, with sound design major David Nichols.  The play is directed by Roger Held.

Tickets for the McArdle Theatre performances will be available in the lobby one hour before performances.  Tickets for the February 27 performance are available from the Calumet Theatre Box Office.

Two after-play discussions for those interested in exploring "Proof" further will be available on February 18 and 19.  Mark Gockenbach, chair of MTU's department of mathematical sciences, and Sydney Morris, minister of Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, will lead a discussion of proof in human experience on Thursday, February 18.   On Friday, February 19, members of Omicron Delta Kappa. the leadership honor fraternity, will join the play's cast and crew in a discussion to include the meaning of leadership in the creative arts.

Nicole Kangas as Catherine
Dennis Kerwin as Robert
Frank Sopjes as Hal
Trish Goggin as Clare