Theatre UAB explores line between madness and genius in “Proof”

A Tony- and Pulitzer prize-winning play about family drama and the elusive nature of truth kicks off Theatre UAB’s new season.

For its first show this season, Theatre UAB takes on the story of a brilliant mathematician who suffers a mental breakdown. His gifted but depressive daughter leaves her own studies to care for him, but when a revolutionary mathematical theory is discovered among her father’s papers, she must ponder the link between genius and madness — and speculate about which legacy he will bequeath to her.

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That’s the premise of “Proof,” David Auburn’s Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play that deftly intertwines family drama with a mystery less about prime numbers than the elusive nature of truth.

Theatre UAB will present “Proof” Oct. 3-7, 2012, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, Sirote Theatre, 1200 10th Ave. South. Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3-6, with a 2 p.m. matinee Oct. 7. Tickets are $12 and $15; student tickets $6; UAB employee and senior citizen tickets $10. Call 205-975-2787 for tickets. Visit Theatre UAB at www.uab.edu/theatre.

Directed by Theatre UAB Professor Karla Koskinen, M.F.A., this intimate play revolves around a mathematical mystery, but it also reveals that human relationships cannot be reduced to objective truth.

“Emotional truths are often messy, ambiguous and contradictory and rely more on trust and love than they do on those things which can be proved,” Koskinen writes of the play.

The cast features Theatre UAB Associate Professor Dennis McLernon, M.F.A., as Robert; sophomore Kyle Hulcher of Fort Worth, Texas, as Hal; senior Trista Baker of Corner, Ala., as Catherine; and senior Leah Huebner of Huntsville as Claire. Senior Kelsey McClure of Clay, Ala., is stage manager, with costumes by Huebner and props by senior Rachel Landress of Birmingham.

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