Proof Play Review – “Proof” Chicago Knows Good Theater!

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Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play, Proof tells the story of Catherine, who spent her adolescence caring for her late father, Robert, through his bouts of mental illness. Robert was a mathematical genius and professor at the University of Chicago, who by the age of 25 had already revolutionized three different fields of mathematics. 

 

Harrison Weger, Kearstyn Keller, Amy Gray

 

On her 25th birthday, Catherine shows a new proof she claims to have written to one of her father’s former students, Hal, who then accuses her of stealing it from her dad. The play explores Catherine’s fear of following in her father’s footsteps, both mathematically and mentally, and her desperate attempts to stay in control while trying to verify the proof’s authenticity.

 

Richard Engling, Harrison Weber, Kearstyn Keller

The Skokie Theater, located in downtown Skokie, Illinois, presents a moving production of David Auburn’s haunting, beautiful play, and runs November 2 – 19, 2018. Starring Kearstyn Keller (Catherine), Richard Engling (Robert), Amy Gray (Claire), and Harrison Weger (Hal). This small, yet talented cast brings the play of Proof to life on the stage.

Proof is directed by MadKap Productions co-founder Wayne Mell, and Rocket City Alabam’, with lighting design by Andrew Vanderbye, costume design by Kaylee Osterman, and PropertiesDesign by Hillarie Shockley.  

Harrison Weger, Amy Gray, Kearstyn Keller

The Skokie Theater was a perfect, intimate venue for Proof, along with its wonderful cast members. Each actor played their part with such passion, while bringing Auburn’s award-winning script to life. Ms. Keller brought Catherine to life, who is haunted by the death and living in the shadow of her genius mathematician father’s famous reputation. Mr. Engling, a seasoned actor, as Robert, was very believable as a mentally ill, yet brilliant man who would work on mathematical gibberishand filling up notebooks outside in the winter cold, while forgetting to wear a jacket.

A wonderful supporting cast was provided by Mr. Weger as Hal, an old student of her father’s, her father’s legacy, who, while obviously working to preserve her father’s legacy, may just be out to jump-start his own career. Ms. Gray appears as Catherine’s overbearing, yet well meaningful sister, Claire. As each of the performers interact with one another, it was as if they had known each other for years, not just one play onstage.

 

Amy Gray, Kearstyn Keller

 

The simple and effective set design on stage was the backyard and porch of Catherine’s Chicago house. It consisted of a wooden, seethrough foundation with lawn chairs. Each scene of the play was seamless with the same staging and background. The simplistic staging and set design were functional and necessary, along with few props, and allowed the focus to stay on the actors.

It was so refreshing having a play taking place locally in the city of Chicago, in the south side  neighborhood of Hyde Park along with the University of Chicago. It also delves into the daily life and academic pressures of being a college student.

If you are a true Chicago local, and want to see life through a different perspective, or simply enjoy mathematics, then I recommend you see Proof before it leaves!

Photos: MadKap Productions

Performances:

Fri/Sat at 7:30 pm, Sun at 2 pm

Wed Nov 14 at 1:30 pm

General Admission: $36

Seniors: $

Proof runs  November 2 -18 by the Skokie Theatre at 7924 Lincoln in Skokie, Illinois.

Tickets are available in person at the box office, by calling 847-677-7761 or by going to the website.

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