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Mystery and the mind featured in theatre production of "Proof" at Coe

Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2013-09-11 10:43:38 - General

Cast includes Cornell College Theatre Professor and Equity actor Jim Van Valen

Coe students Connor Swanson (as Harold Dobbs), Kathleen Perrell (as Catherine) and Alison Polivka (as Claire) are featured in the upcoming Coe theatre production of "Proof."

The Coe College Department of Theatre Arts will open the season with a drama that examines the tenuous relationship between assertion and believability. David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Proof" will be presented on Sept. 20-22 and 26-28 in Dows Theatre on the Coe campus. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday, Sept. 22 show, which starts at 2 p.m.

Seats are reserved, and tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or by calling the Coe College Box Office at 319-399-8600, Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Directed by Coe Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Steven Marc Weiss, "Proof" features a cast that includes three Coe College students and, as a special guest artist, Cornell College Associate Professor of Theatre Jim Van Valen, who is appearing by special permission of Actor's Equity Association.

The action of "Proof," which won both a Pulitzer Prize for drama and a Tony Award for best play, centers on uncertainty regarding the authorship of a particularly significant mathematical result. But this brilliant piece also works on a more probing psychological level, examining the link between genius and mental instability and the limited extent to which truth ultimately can be knowable.

"The title operates on several different levels, depending on which of the word's many connotations is the point of focus. The mystery at the center of the action involves a mathematical result, a 'proof,' the authorship of which is hotly contested by three of the four characters," said Weiss in his director's comments. "But, on a deeper, more psychological level, the difficulty of 'proving' an assertion, professional or personal, is also under scrutiny by the playwright. The larger issue, then, is one of how ultimately impossible it is to ever 'know' what motivates another person's actions toward you. It is this vaster dimension, I think, that earned this play the Pulitzer Prize for drama. When a playwright grapples with something so intangible and unknowable as the human psyche as profoundly and with as much insight as David Auburn achieves in this marvelous play, all one can do is . . . well, marvel at it."

For more information, call 319-399-8600 or visit theatre.coe.edu.