Mathematician taken ill gives story for play

Jamie Anderson

Jamie Anderson

Every year, the theatre department puts on a play that sets itself apart from the others. This semester, Proof is doing just that.

“This show is different from other SUT (State University Theatre) productions because of the process,” said Andy Schnabel, a junior communication studies and theatre major. “We want to achieve a raw and natural feel to this show, so we haven’t done much set blocking.

“We just move where and when our instincts tell us to. It’s a liberating process,” Schnabel said.

Proof is the only play put on by SUT this semester that will be in the PAC instead of Doner Auditorium.

“When we select our seasons, we traditionally pick one to do in Fishback,” said J.D. Ackman, professor of theatre. “It’s a more intimate setting.”

With only four main characters in the play, it is sure to have a different feel to it.

“Proof is a smaller production than most SUT shows,” said Schnabel. “The smaller cast is refreshing because it allows us as a cast to become much more intimate with the script, which in turn allows us to connect more with each other and the audience.”

The people involved in the play don’t see that as a problem though.

“It’s a really strong drama with a marvelous cast,” said Ackman, director of Proof. “It’s good to see them explore and grow in their roles.”

The storyline of Proof follows Robert (played by Michael Huer), a brilliant mathematician who has become ill and can no longer function on his own. During his illness, he scribbled equations on hundreds of notebooks, said Schnabel.

“Hal (my character) tries to find some logic in the equations, possibly a major proof,” said Schnabel. “He ends up falling in love with Catherine (played by Allison Weiland).”

Claire (played by Ashley Pfeiffer) believes Catherine is succumbing to some of Robert’s affliction and wants to take her back to New York with her for professional care ? and the plot thickens, said Schnabel.

Being involved in a small production such as this, each person tends to have a favorite part of the production.

“As an actor, the only thing I enjoy more than the rehearsal process is putting bodies in the seats,” said Schnabel.

“There is a real satisfaction just starting with the script and going through the rehearsal process and seeing the play take shape,” said Ackman. “I have been in theatre for 17 years. It’s a wonderful drama and everyone should come out and see it.”

Proof runs from Feb. 17-20 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 21 matinee at 2 p.m. and the following week Feb. 24-27 at 7:30 p.m. The performances will be in Fishback Studio Theatre in the PAC.

SDSU students can see Proof free with their student IDs. Any questions, call the PAC at 605-688-6045.

“Theatre truly comes alive when there is a live audience there reacting, crying and laughing with you. It’s the best high in the world,” said Schnabel.