Wednesday, March 11, 2009

[Coweta Arts Tidbits] Newnan Theatre Presents "Proof"

Coweta Arts Tidbits


The Successor To Newnan-Coweta Arts Council News Releases

Composed By: Forrest W. Schultz 770-583-3258

March 11, 2009

Newnan Theatre Presents Proof

     The Newnan Theatre is to be applauded for presenting a very challenging, significant, and important play here in Coweta County --  David Auburn's Proof.  Also to be commended is the Theatre's Publicity Director Dianne Olsen for an excellent news release, which is reproduced below verbatim
Newnan Community Theatre Company
Contact: Dianne Olsen, 770-683-6282
NCTC Brings Proof To The Main Stage

     One of the most acclaimed new plays in recent years, David Auburn's Proof was a hit on Broadway and won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play.  Proof is the next play to be performed on the main stage at the Newnan Community Theatre Company.
Proof is the story of Catherine who is searching for the truth while confronting her family's legacy of madness and genius. Catherine's search begins when a disputed mathematical proof is found among the abandoned notebooks of her unstable but brilliant father, a college professor.

     Proof takes place entirely in the Chicago backyard of the family home. Set in September of the present time, the cast consists of just four characters.  The main character, Catherine, appears in all but one scene.  Two of the characters, Robert and his daughter Claire, never appear in a scene together. Catherine has lost her father after caring for him for years.  She is dealing with depression and an incredible amount of stress of having been his sole caretaker.  Her father, Robert, was a well-respected mathematical genius, who died in his 50s.  Claire, the well-meaning but absentee sister of Catherine, and Hal, one of Robert's grad students, round out the cast.
     Over 30 actors tried out for the four roles in Proof. The show brings three newcomers to the NCTC stage.  Portraying the role of Catherine is Nicole Walker.  Her sister, Claire, is Megan Johnson.  Both Walker and Johnson were drawn to this show by the wonderful script. Lovable grad student Hal is played by Ryan Bermingham.  Returning to the NCTC stage is Rick Olsen as Robert, his first main stage role in over a year.
     Proof premiered on Broadway in 2000 and starred Mary-Louise Parker and Larry Bryggman. The movie version came out in 2005 and starred Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

     Because the play is mainly about life and relationships, you don't have to be a math whiz to enjoy the show. But you might be wondering, what exactly is a proof? According to Wikipedia, a math proof is a convincing demonstration that some mathematical statement is necessarily true. Proofs are obtained from deductive reasoning and a proof must demonstrate that a statement is true in all cases, without a single exception. Proofs employ logic, but usually include some amount of natural language, which usually admits some ambiguity.
     The title of the play refers to not only the mathematical proof found by Hal, but also the effort to prove it to be true. It also refers to the trust issues between Hal and Catherine and Catherine and Claire.
     Directed by Jeff Allen, Proof is a tale about family relationships and responsibilities, about love and guilt and vulnerability and trust and death and loss. It deals with the big issues, but it keeps them on a human scale and maintains a sense of humor in the process.  Allen states the play has many themes: intelligence vs. emotion, trust vs. belief, a little bit of romance, and a lot of self-sacrifice.  You'll see several layers of love - between sisters, and between fathers and daughters. 
     Allen is a frequent volunteer at NCTC, but not usually during college basketball season. Allen is a huge Duke fan. Proof is a show he's seen many times and he quickly volunteered to direct the show. Allen states this is one of his all-time favorite plays.

     Proof is being produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.  The show is rated PG-13 due to strong language.  There will be six performances:  March 27, 28, 29, and April 3, 4, and 5.  The Friday and Saturday evening shows begin at 8 pm.  The Sunday matinees begin at 2:30.  Reservations are highly recommended as NCTC shows often sell-out and your seat cannot be guaranteed without a reservation.  Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, and $10 for children.  To make reservations, call the theatre at (770) 683-6282 or email them at  The Newnan Community Theatre Company is located at 24 1st Avenue in downtown Newnan.  For more information about the theatre and other upcoming shows, visit their website at
Photo: The Proof cast, Megan Johnson (Claire), Rick Olsen (Robert), Nicole Walker (Catherine), and Ryan Bermingham (Hal).

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