Proof play proves positive

McKenna Dosier/The News
From left to right, Maddie Brasher-Evans, Emily Pape and J. Davis took up the roles of Claire, Catherine and Hal, respectively.McKenna Dosier/The News From left to right, Maddie Brasher-Evans, Emily Pape and J. Davis took up the roles of Claire, Catherine and Hal, respectively.

Story by Brianna WillisStaff writer

McKenna Dosier/The News From left to right, Maddie Brasher-Evans, Emily Pape and J. Davis took up the roles of Claire, Catherine and Hal, respectively.

McKenna Dosier/The News
From left to right, Maddie Brasher-Evans, Emily Pape and J. Davis took up the roles of Claire, Catherine and Hal, respectively.

“Proof,” a play written by David Auburn, just finished its stay here at Murray State. 

A deeply emotional play regarding mental illness, family and math was a wise choice for director Matthew Crider.

“Proof has been on my radar for a while now,” he said. “I have a personal connection to the material, as well as a play with a recognizable name.”

Emily Pape, sophomore from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, is a theater and English major. She played the lead role of Catherine. Pape said she began acting in the eighth grade and fell in love.

She said she loves theater because of the process of building a character, and even incorporating yourself into different roles.

“Catherine is very introverted,” Pape said. “She had built up this shell around her, and this caused her to say some pretty harsh things.”

Proof had its fair share of characters with intriguing character development. Claire, the older sister to Catherine, could be interpreted by audience members as callous and manipulative, while to others she is a caring sister.

“It is a play about trying to make sense of oneself,” Crider said.

While the play contained emotion, it had a mathematical side as well.

“The first preview we had, we invited the math department.” Crider said. “About 40 math students and professors showed up, and they were a great first audience.”

They laughed at way more jokes than the average audience member would, and one even told Crider that it was an accurate representation of life as a research mathematician. 

The audience can engage in something relative to their lives, whether as a mathematician, a sister or a daughter. There was something in the play at every step that could be experienced on a personal level. Crider attributes this to the power of theater.

“We as a society have become increasingly disconnected from other people,” he said. “Theater is more interpersonal we don’t have 50 takes like cinema does, the audience takes the successes and the failures as they happen.”

Pape echoes this sentiment.

“Theater is a different cultural experience from movies, books or television. Theater allows students to connect directly to what is happening, and that is an experience everyone should have at least once in their life,” she said.

While “Proof” has ended, students can watch the film version, directed by John Madden.

If students are looking for more live performances, the calendar of events can be found online at murraystatetickets.universitytickets.com.