Proof

Written by: David Auburn

Proof Book Cover
Proof is the winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
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Proof Reviews

Yu Bin
Proof is the type of play that gets you sucked in within its first two pages. This play, written by David Auburn, is about a young woman named Catherine who struggles with the recent death of her father and the problems that her father had brought up through his death. Robert, the father, was a revered mathematician who wrote several notes of proofs that are left unanswered and through this makes Catherine’s life rather hard when his old student, Hal, comes and finds an important theorem that Ca Proof is the type of play that gets you sucked in within its first two pages. This play, written by David Auburn, is about a young woman named Catherine who struggles with the recent death of her father and the problems that her father had brought up through his death. Robert, the father, was a revered mathematician who wrote several notes of proofs that are left unanswered and through this makes Catherine’s life rather hard when his old student, Hal, comes and finds an important theorem that Catherine claims to have written herself. This becomes one of the main issues of the play in which they try to figure out whether or not Catherine really did write the proof or no. Another main issue that is stressed upon is Catherine’s fear that she has the same illness that her father and how she copes with that fear, as well as the arrival of her sister, who want to take her back with her so she can start a new life (and hopefully get checked up on whether she really has an illness or no) together.
Proof keeps you interested and curious throughout the play on some questions that are raised early on in the play. By the end of the play, your wondering whether or not Catherine makes the big life decision to stay or go, or whether she decides to see a doctor or no. And it is because of how you are invested in the story is why Proof is a very nice read about the family bonds and the struggle of having faith in one another despite how hard it is.
Dainique Jones
Rereading this for the first time in ages, but it absolutely holds up.

When I first read it, I found myself mapping out all the subtext and undercurrents in each scene, fascinated by how expertly Auburn makes his characters snipe at each other over buying a dress or making coffee while the real cause of the argument coils and unspools underneath.

Has Catherine written a world-changing proof, despite the fact that she's untrained (and female in a very male field)? Or is it her dead father's work, Rereading this for the first time in ages, but it absolutely holds up.

When I first read it, I found myself mapping out all the subtext and undercurrents in each scene, fascinated by how expertly Auburn makes his characters snipe at each other over buying a dress or making coffee while the real cause of the argument coils and unspools underneath.

Has Catherine written a world-changing proof, despite the fact that she's untrained (and female in a very male field)? Or is it her dead father's work, despite the fact that he was supposedly past his best years (and suffering severe mental illness)? Either way, it would explode stereotypes and offer validation, but who gets validated and who gets left out in the cold? It's one of the things I love about plays, something that is almost impossible to do in novels: that flicker of doubt you get because you're not able to get into any of the characters' heads and you don't know what's true. And Auburn really shines in that arena, making you feel like even the characters themselves don't know if they're telling the truth or painfully deluded.
Shannon
Interesting play, touching upon mathematics but more heavily upon familial relationships and love. I wish I could have seen a bit more of Catherine's character in the play than I did; her surliness could be interpreted in many different facets (grieving, result of years of burden caring for her aging father, madness, etc.) but to glean another dimension of her would have helped connect as an audience/reader. Catherine seems to respond to characters; she rarely initiated or produced any emotion. Interesting play, touching upon mathematics but more heavily upon familial relationships and love. I wish I could have seen a bit more of Catherine's character in the play than I did; her surliness could be interpreted in many different facets (grieving, result of years of burden caring for her aging father, madness, etc.) but to glean another dimension of her would have helped connect as an audience/reader. Catherine seems to respond to characters; she rarely initiated or produced any emotion. Rather, her aggression, her vulnerability, her defensiveness, her love, it is all an answer to another character's words or actions. Which is fine, except that she is the central character.

I enjoyed reading Proof and especially appreciated the different uses of the title word throughout the play. The dialogue is intriguing, believable - in my opinion - between the sisters, though I'm unsure how much I believed the relationship between Hal and Catherine. (Possible spoiler *** does a man really initiate a sexual encounter with a woman who called the police on him? Then again, such exaggerated actions could possibly be excused given the context of Catherine's position.)
Ten Little Indians :: The Táin: From the Irish epic Táin Bó Cúailnge :: Jennifer Government :: Where the Heart Is :: I Am Not Myself These Days
Mark Woodland
Somewhat difficult in the reading, this is nonetheless a marvelous play concerning a young woman who may either be a mathematical genius, or descending into madness like her late father. Her father is a character in the play, whom only she sees and talks to, which is part of what begs the question of whether or not she is sane. However, the way it's handled, you can never be sure, and this is the adeptness in the writing: In the end, there is no "proof" except her word that SHE was the one who w Somewhat difficult in the reading, this is nonetheless a marvelous play concerning a young woman who may either be a mathematical genius, or descending into madness like her late father. Her father is a character in the play, whom only she sees and talks to, which is part of what begs the question of whether or not she is sane. However, the way it's handled, you can never be sure, and this is the adeptness in the writing: In the end, there is no "proof" except her word that SHE was the one who wrote a brilliant, breakthrough proof that had previously been considered unsolvable. There is a romantic interest involved as well, the future of which depends on whether or not he believes her. It's a well-constructed story that requires the reader to continually ask what's going on and what the truth is. Though she's the protagonist, there's always some doubt whether or not she's the "hero". Even better after reading it, look for a performance of the play; it's reasonably often produced due to its quality, and is much more revealing when faces are put to the characters.
Eric
I'm hesitant to give this merely three stars, as I think there are some excellent ideas being explored here, along with an interesting narrative that easily draws the reader/viewer in. Proof is the story of a young woman dealing with the loss of her father, a mathematical genius who suffered bouts of insanity, and her balance between wanting to be like her father while fearing that she will inherit his mental instability.

Proof deals in the matters of love, loss, gender stereotypes, mathematics, I'm hesitant to give this merely three stars, as I think there are some excellent ideas being explored here, along with an interesting narrative that easily draws the reader/viewer in. Proof is the story of a young woman dealing with the loss of her father, a mathematical genius who suffered bouts of insanity, and her balance between wanting to be like her father while fearing that she will inherit his mental instability.

Proof deals in the matters of love, loss, gender stereotypes, mathematics, education, familial tensions, and neurological disease. It has a very strong start, good building conflicts, manages to maintain its tension throughout, but it seems to fall short at the end as I found the resolution to be a bit weak.

Proof succeeds in that it leaves its readers with much to think about after, though it fails to deliver a satisfying conclusion.
Emily
I read this in-between teaching classes today. A girl in my school wanted me to approve it for her and I wanted to read it to see if Auburn justified the language, drinking, drugs, and sex references I noticed while flipping through (I try to be as liberal as I can as the book censor for a residential treatment boarding school).

The characters themselves are complicated and real....the dialogue was very fine, very natural, very witty and human. Definitely a strong point for Auburn. Did I love th I read this in-between teaching classes today. A girl in my school wanted me to approve it for her and I wanted to read it to see if Auburn justified the language, drinking, drugs, and sex references I noticed while flipping through (I try to be as liberal as I can as the book censor for a residential treatment boarding school).

The characters themselves are complicated and real....the dialogue was very fine, very natural, very witty and human. Definitely a strong point for Auburn. Did I love the characters? Not particularly. I loved Robert. The pacing, the organization, the use of such a minimal setting and few scene changes were all brilliant. But it didn't exactly wake me up or inspire me or blow me away enough to justify handing it over to one of my young girls.

A good play. A great play. A play worth the Pulitzer it won?..............meh.
Shaina
I first read Proof in high school, and I loved it. I adore math, but I was also dealing with death and mental health problems within my family when I first read it. This play hits the nail on the head as far as the emotions and conflicts that can occur within these situations. The play hit close to home and every time I read it, see it, or direct it I find new discoveries.

David Auburn was a genius when it came to dealing with the humanity of this subject. Yes, Robert is a genius mathematician. I first read Proof in high school, and I loved it. I adore math, but I was also dealing with death and mental health problems within my family when I first read it. This play hits the nail on the head as far as the emotions and conflicts that can occur within these situations. The play hit close to home and every time I read it, see it, or direct it I find new discoveries.

David Auburn was a genius when it came to dealing with the humanity of this subject. Yes, Robert is a genius mathematician. Yes, his daughter Katherine has followed in his footsteps as far as being very intelligent. But they are still real people with real problems. And the play ends with a bit of a mystery.

Proof. Sometimes we have it, sometimes we don't. In life, it doesn't always matter. And the play just goes to show that.
Alyssa
I think what I like the most about Proof is the characters and the uncertainty of their actions. Catherine is a fully developed character, with a back story and intentions. However, did she really write the proof? Did she really have a conversation with her dead father? Hal is a great character too. He is sweet and a little nerdy, but he seems to have good intentions. Or does he? I especially love the parallels David Auburn wrote. Proof can refer to the mathematical proof, or the evidence that C I think what I like the most about Proof is the characters and the uncertainty of their actions. Catherine is a fully developed character, with a back story and intentions. However, did she really write the proof? Did she really have a conversation with her dead father? Hal is a great character too. He is sweet and a little nerdy, but he seems to have good intentions. Or does he? I especially love the parallels David Auburn wrote. Proof can refer to the mathematical proof, or the evidence that Catherine is telling the truth. There are also contrasts between Catherine and Claire, Hal and Robert, Chicago and New York, dead and new. I think it is great when a writer leaves questions at the end the story, and it is something I will definitely add to my writing.
Katie
The ending threw me off a little bit. I questioned the point of the play. What question is it asking? I thought the plot was intriguing but the whole play moved so fast that I barely had time to wave at it as it went by. The way he wrote it I can see no other possibility for plot development, but I was confused. He left a lot open, I think and we don't really have closure. The ending was abrupt and unsatisfying. It would have been better if we continued on after we found out the proof was hers. The ending threw me off a little bit. I questioned the point of the play. What question is it asking? I thought the plot was intriguing but the whole play moved so fast that I barely had time to wave at it as it went by. The way he wrote it I can see no other possibility for plot development, but I was confused. He left a lot open, I think and we don't really have closure. The ending was abrupt and unsatisfying. It would have been better if we continued on after we found out the proof was hers. It seemed like a huge build up of Catherine possibly being crazy, but there was no pay off. It fizzled off without consequence. The premise was good and I enjoyed the characters, but I thought the plot fell short.
Emily
I've read Proof before and am a big fan of the play, but I have to say, I didn't like this recording. I really enjoyed the performances of Jeremy Sisto (always a favorite of mine) and the supporting cast, but I found Anne Heche's interpretation of the role to be very irritating. Technically speaking, I had huge issues with the volume. The first half was fine, but the second half I could barely hear. This was not an issue with my player (believe me, I checked) but was the result of some sort of e I've read Proof before and am a big fan of the play, but I have to say, I didn't like this recording. I really enjoyed the performances of Jeremy Sisto (always a favorite of mine) and the supporting cast, but I found Anne Heche's interpretation of the role to be very irritating. Technically speaking, I had huge issues with the volume. The first half was fine, but the second half I could barely hear. This was not an issue with my player (believe me, I checked) but was the result of some sort of error on the recording itself which made it extremely difficult to hear the actors for the entire second half of the play even with the volume all the way up.
Mike Tracy
I saw the film a couple of years ago and was quite moved by it. Reading the script gave some additional dimensions to the complexity of the story, however. I'm not sure I'm remembering the film correctly, but there seemed to me to be an important difference in a particular story point having to do with act 4 that changed the meaning of the piece, a little. The central conflict explores themes of un realized promise, life in the shadow of fading brilliance, the shifting realities of one's sense o I saw the film a couple of years ago and was quite moved by it. Reading the script gave some additional dimensions to the complexity of the story, however. I'm not sure I'm remembering the film correctly, but there seemed to me to be an important difference in a particular story point having to do with act 4 that changed the meaning of the piece, a little. The central conflict explores themes of un realized promise, life in the shadow of fading brilliance, the shifting realities of one's sense of worth and the consequences of resignation to one's fate. The dialog is excellent, making the play enjoyable reading, even for non-actors. Spare, direct and moving.
Carrotcakie
Very interesting play about Catherine's life after her father's death, coming to terms with her life ahead, as well as her own talent in math and how she compares to her father. It seemed very human, the characters were all very real. Hal sometimes annoyed me, but I liked him other times. I hated Claire, she was pathetic. I liked Catherine; she was raw stuff. At the end, I was a little disappointed that not much else was given. I wanted to know more information, such as if Catherine decides to m Very interesting play about Catherine's life after her father's death, coming to terms with her life ahead, as well as her own talent in math and how she compares to her father. It seemed very human, the characters were all very real. Hal sometimes annoyed me, but I liked him other times. I hated Claire, she was pathetic. I liked Catherine; she was raw stuff. At the end, I was a little disappointed that not much else was given. I wanted to know more information, such as if Catherine decides to move to New York, and if Claire believes that Catherine wrote the proof.
Boni
This work is much better than a play than a movie because of its claustrophobic feel.

Catherine stops school to take care of his father, who is a brilliant mathematician at his prime and now insane. Though out the play, the thought of her inheriting the madness, and the mathematics, hovers around Catherine's consciousness. Hal, a former doctoral advisee of her father, provides her the counterpoint to her worry: she is not her father and she is all right.
Megan Huggins
This is a play I'm going to have to investigate more to fully understand, but I really enjoyed it and it's very well written. Everything ties together nicely, but I was still left wondering if things would work out. I'm actually doing a scene from this play for one of my acting classes, so I'm really excited to get to play around with it and see what I can discover.
Catherine Mustread
This four character Pulitzer Prize winning play is a realistic drama about a young woman who has devoted several years of her life to taking care of her mentally ill father, a former famous mathematician and professor. Other two characters are her older sister and a young man, also a mathematician and formal doctoral student protégé of the professor who has now died.art or the conflict is whether a notebook containing a mathematical "proof" was written by the father or the daughter.
Jack Hrkach
Yes it one a Pulitzer and yes it was a rather good play that was very well produced - I was lucky enough to see its original Bway cast, which was very good, but it doesn't make the cut for me in terms of great American plays - of course if you look back at the complete list of Pulitzers, including the first, called Why Marry? completely forgotten now - and a list of plays that did NOT get a Pulitzer (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf - please!) you too may place it in a category similar to my own.
Rachel
It might be rated slightly more than 3 stars for me, but not quite 4. I liked the simplicity of the setting and found all four of the characters intriguing (especially Catherine and Robert) but some of the scenes between Catherine and Claire were a little frustrating to read (though perhaps intentionally so).
Jonathan
A decent, short read of a play. Well constructed avenues that use math and genius to give an inner working and look at how humanity acts, and reacts, to mental illness, and the possibility thereof of having it yourself. Recommended to anyone seeking understanding, it re-humanizes the subject as a whole.
Christian Burger
Loved this play...and saw it produced here in Chicago, in Hyde Park no less. Exquisite lens into a flawed but brilliant character. The main character is drawn as very smart but also tragically human...and the tension is vivid throughout. The way the father character emerges and inserts himself is also interesting and creative. No reservations in recommending this modern play for readers of drama.
Sarah Bussard
accidentally read this today. picked it up and read the first scene without realizing i had, and then the first act was done, and soon I was on the last page. That hasn't happened with a book for a while, so perhaps I need to read more plays.
Tanya
I'm getting more out of this the second time around. I think the quick fire dialogue didn't hit with me the first time. However, reading it aloud in the book club I run, I'm noticing more things. I'm seeing how the author crafted the dialogue to suggest that a character might be losing their mind.
Andrew Kubasek
Excellent play! Not quite five-star material in my view, but outstanding nonetheless (4.5 stars, if I could). Auburn manages to do quite a bit with four characters and a front porch set. Some of the "realistic" dialogue felt forced, but the central dramas are fantastic and well put together. Bravo!
Anirvan
A terrific play about the daughter of a mathematician and her relationship with her father and her commitment to her father's work, which her sister does not understand. A great read for a rainy or snowy weekend.
Anne Marie
The best thing about this book was how short it was. It was an easy story to follow, but it really didn't have much of a point and I think the author could have had a more suspenseful story line.
Eli
The Pulitzer committee that selected this work must have seen a play that looks very different from the one I read. Though the dialogue is realistic enough and the characters' relationships provide some room for gifted actors to extemporize, the ideas never seem to come fully together. Math is central to the plot, but the ideas discussed and the plot itself seem to have little relation to one another, making it seem more like a plot device or characterization shortcut than something fully integr The Pulitzer committee that selected this work must have seen a play that looks very different from the one I read. Though the dialogue is realistic enough and the characters' relationships provide some room for gifted actors to extemporize, the ideas never seem to come fully together. Math is central to the plot, but the ideas discussed and the plot itself seem to have little relation to one another, making it seem more like a plot device or characterization shortcut than something fully integrated into the play. There are a few touching moments between the protagonist and her father, which could certainly be remarkable in the hands of the right actors. But the overall impression I had was of little more than a discount Arcadia or A Beautiful Mind, bringing little new to the stage or screen.
Mary Havens
I loved how this play unfolded. I loved how it ended with hope. I loved the ambiguity -- was Catherine really crazy? If she was, how much? Did she write the proof (I think she did)? Did her dad help? Does it matter?
She so powerless during most of the play but she gains that power back; not by demanding but revealing herself and disrupting the world that she's been forced into. She seems shattered but she isn't, really. She's doing the shattering.
I'm going to have to think on this one for awhil I loved how this play unfolded. I loved how it ended with hope. I loved the ambiguity -- was Catherine really crazy? If she was, how much? Did she write the proof (I think she did)? Did her dad help? Does it matter?
She so powerless during most of the play but she gains that power back; not by demanding but revealing herself and disrupting the world that she's been forced into. She seems shattered but she isn't, really. She's doing the shattering.
I'm going to have to think on this one for awhile. I really loved it.
Judy
This will be the fifth time I've read this play in the past 6 months. I began reading it to familiarize myself with a character I portrayed in a scene for my acting class. I reread it multiple times out of sheer wonderment of the eloquent, smart authorship. Currently, I am reading it constantly to direct a different scene for a different class. This play tackles important themes in a sensitive yet confronting manner. My heart breaks for the characters each time I read it, yet the text never beco This will be the fifth time I've read this play in the past 6 months. I began reading it to familiarize myself with a character I portrayed in a scene for my acting class. I reread it multiple times out of sheer wonderment of the eloquent, smart authorship. Currently, I am reading it constantly to direct a different scene for a different class. This play tackles important themes in a sensitive yet confronting manner. My heart breaks for the characters each time I read it, yet the text never becomes sappy. I am in love.
Paul LaFontaine
Daughter of a prize-winning mathematician presents a math proof and no one believes she is the author. Accusations of mental instability and cheating are brought to bear as those around her try and refute her claim.

Interesting idea and having a play about math is cool. The main characters have mental problems which detract from the more interesting problem of authorship. A lot of the play felt extraneous to me.

Cautiously recommend.
Feisty Harriet
In some ways this reminded me a lot of that Steve Rogers movie, Gifted, about the math genius family with demonstrated and very sad mental illness troubles. This play is beautiful, about family and genius and trust and love and belief. And some impossibly difficult math (which is mostly alluded to, you don't need to know theoretical calculus to understand the plot or anything like that).
Amber Hooper
Read this because I was performing a scene from this play in for my Acting 1 final. I really enjoyed this play and enjoyed the way you slowly figured out what exactly was going on. And that moment when you finally realize the double meaning behind the title... Amazing!
John
This was a good short read. I didn't realize that the movie Proof was based on a play. Despite being so short I liked the interplay between the characters and getting to delve into Catherine's struggle.
Jachin
This play found its way into my hands, because I will soon be writing a paper on it for my English 102 class. It is simple, but the characters felt more real than they have in many of the things I have read in awhile, which may make me start reading more plays.
Steve Scott
Goodness but this is a powerful play. I see why it won the Pulitzer.

Snappy and emotional dialogue, sensitive treatment addressing the dividing line between mental illness and genius, beautiful character development. There is so much here for actors and directors to work with.

Loved it.
Jennifer Neal
I enjoyed this book, despite not being a huge fan of the expletives. I was surprised when I got to the end, but not unpleasantly so. It gives you something to think about, but doesn't tell you what to think.
Shawn Aebi
Solid work and right up my alley of mathematics. Saw Jennifer Jason Leigh on Broadway (!) but missed MLP. It's a bit one dimensional (planar?) for a play - could've used a bit more mystery of the father or more illumination on the sister-sister relationship. Overall, drama at a high level.
Melanie
Auburn’s ability to capture language is enviable and the story itself is compelling without becoming maudlin.
Si Squires-Kasten
It's pleasant enough, but very predictable. I'm sure the administrators at the University of Chicago loved Auburn's mythical version of a school for cloistered, brilliant intellectuals.
Adina Vanloo
We are doing this production for our first show of the Spring 2018 semester. I absolutely love this play. It is so deep and complex and full of hidden messages.
Kristen Lo
My go-to Theatre One play. Very straight forward characters and relationships-- a great place to start as an actor.
Jessica Whittemore
You can really see where all the characters are coming from in this play. Reading it I cried, I laughed, I hoped everyone could get what they wanted. On the edge of my seat!
Charlie Jonas
The main character from this play, Catherine, is a very interesting and complex character. The end is breath-taking.
Emily
Powerful stuff. I really like the math aspect too.
Donna
I listened to this on audio where it was wonderfully done.
Tracy
This play was amazing. I've never read a play more intriguing than this one. I loved the fact that the characters were all so relatable and that this play has a meaning deeper than what is initially shown. I would definenlty recommend this to anybody who has ever been contradicted when they were actually right. Proof is for sure on my list of plays I would re-read.
Lauren
I liked this play, but the tone and some of the subject matter reminded me of Wonderfalls, so I imagined those characters playing these characters and it was great.
Dísa
One of the better plays I have read recently, great characters, small cast and a whole lot of suspense.
Zoe
It's sort of an importance piece for me, which I'd very much like to produce. However, perhaps because the writer has never been in scientific field before, some scenes lack authenticity.
Rachel Swords
Smartly written, and not just because it's a play about mathematics. Engaging plot, realistic characters, and a bittersweet but entertaining tone. I would love to play Catherine someday.
Dana Baraki
Easy and quick to read and flows so well!
Ericka
Really enjoyed this play that I read for my Contemporary Lit class.
The story and characters were fantastic.
Julia
I’d like to see this play, or the movie based on the play. The play didn’t work very well for me, as literature. I borrowed this from Schenectady Public Library.
Camille
Had to read for my acting class. I thought it was great, I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would.
Brian McCann
Stronger than I remember. I really think Act I is great. Act II Is more forced.
Sophia
The play is okay. It makes you think deeply about guilt and proof, but it's not really that worth reading.
Erin Cleary
Such a gripping story. I was captivated from start to finish. Catherine is a real and utterly amazing character, so amazing to bring her character to life.
Brooke
I LOVED this play. Women in math, explorations of mental health, nerds in rock bands...this was everything. Definitely one of my favorites from my class so far.
Artemis
Well...definitely not as brilliant as All My Sons. Nonetheless, it was interesting.
Laura Smith
Really good play. I truly felt Catherine's anger and resentment as well as her mounting frustration as the play continued and the dialogue grew increasingly confrontational.

EDIT** I analyzed and performed a scene of this play for my acting class at a summer intensive, and this play has way more layers than I first saw when I read it on my own. It's a really well crafted story with a lot of nuances that make a very compelling narrative.
Julie
I found Catherine to be super whiny, but it may have just been the actress playing her in the audiobook.
Author
I saw the movie for this play before I read the book, but when I saw the book at the store I had to buy it. The book is actually a play, but it is well written and I like that there aren't a lot of stage directions. I think the best plays leave room for interpretation and this play does that well. The characters are interesting and the story itself kept me reading. I liked the idea that drama of whether the proof was Catherine's or her father's and the tension of exactly how much she is like her I saw the movie for this play before I read the book, but when I saw the book at the store I had to buy it. The book is actually a play, but it is well written and I like that there aren't a lot of stage directions. I think the best plays leave room for interpretation and this play does that well. The characters are interesting and the story itself kept me reading. I liked the idea that drama of whether the proof was Catherine's or her father's and the tension of exactly how much she is like her father. It was a good, fast read and well-written. I'd love to see it performed sometime in person.
Nicholas Montemarano
Probably unfair to read this play a few hours after reading "Doubt" twice, and loving it, but the truth is, I was disappointed; I'd heard such great things, yet... It's not a bad piece of work, nothing wrong with it, but I found the mathematical genius/insanity link a bit worn. I didn't quite believe that any of the three main characters were in fact mathematical geniuses. Too often I detected Auburn trying too hard to authenticate this element of the story, which is precisely what made it seem Probably unfair to read this play a few hours after reading "Doubt" twice, and loving it, but the truth is, I was disappointed; I'd heard such great things, yet... It's not a bad piece of work, nothing wrong with it, but I found the mathematical genius/insanity link a bit worn. I didn't quite believe that any of the three main characters were in fact mathematical geniuses. Too often I detected Auburn trying too hard to authenticate this element of the story, which is precisely what made it seem inauthentic. There were very few moments where I wanted to pause and reread a scene or a few lines of dialogue; the complexity simply wasn't there, the mystery, the subtext.
Mollie
I love this play. There is so much conflict on all fronts. Catherine's wish to be a caretaker to her father/her wish to achieve and do her own work. Hal's attraction to Catherine and wish to believe she is what she says she is / his inability to believe (and the implications it would ahve for his ego) that as an under educated woman she could written a proof that would change the math world and Claires wish to help and make well but her unwillingness to be a part of her fathers life while he was I love this play. There is so much conflict on all fronts. Catherine's wish to be a caretaker to her father/her wish to achieve and do her own work. Hal's attraction to Catherine and wish to believe she is what she says she is / his inability to believe (and the implications it would ahve for his ego) that as an under educated woman she could written a proof that would change the math world and Claires wish to help and make well but her unwillingness to be a part of her fathers life while he was ill (or catherines). I think the play had fantastic discussion of our treatment of the mentally ill and on the station of women in some academic fields. I really loved this play
Megan O'Neill
I'm not a math person. I like words, and words - most of the time - like me. Numbers are another story entirely, and so when I had to read Proof for my "Love and Madness" class during my senior year of college, I was concerned. But the heart of Auburn's play isn't so much the numbers - at least, not in a way that you actually need to understand the complicated formulae and processes that Catherine unravels and discusses throughout the work - but what the numbers represent. It is, as with all the I'm not a math person. I like words, and words - most of the time - like me. Numbers are another story entirely, and so when I had to read Proof for my "Love and Madness" class during my senior year of college, I was concerned. But the heart of Auburn's play isn't so much the numbers - at least, not in a way that you actually need to understand the complicated formulae and processes that Catherine unravels and discusses throughout the work - but what the numbers represent. It is, as with all theater, the dynamics among the characters - the formulae among them - that makes the play tick, and ultimately, become a really lovely piece.
Brittany
Probably one of my favorite modern shows. I think it really speaks to the fact that everyone is scared they'll turn out just like their parents, but in Catherine's case, there was more to be scared of.

The description says that Claire is manipulative, but I don't think so. I think she just has been gone for so long that when she comes back, she can see everything from a new perspective. I think she may have also felt a little jealously at the depth of the relationship between Robert and Claire.
Lindsay
I'm not really sure why I liked this play so much. But it really jumped off the pages to me and I really saw it rather than read it. I think I most enjoyed the fact that the writer had geniuses who were thought or were actually insane. It is so true to life and how a lot of the greatest work that we all practice today came from geniuses who at the time people thought were nuts. Even though at the end they reveal who wrote the proof I still have the feeling that it really could have been either p I'm not really sure why I liked this play so much. But it really jumped off the pages to me and I really saw it rather than read it. I think I most enjoyed the fact that the writer had geniuses who were thought or were actually insane. It is so true to life and how a lot of the greatest work that we all practice today came from geniuses who at the time people thought were nuts. Even though at the end they reveal who wrote the proof I still have the feeling that it really could have been either person...
Misti
I've never seen this onstage. couldn't stand wathing the movie after reading the script.

it is very cafefully written and the math in it is written in such a way that it becomes intriguing rather than boring. gets into the emotional and creative aspect of being a mathmatical genius and how that way of thinking eventually drives some people mad. it's beautifully sad. the characters are beautifully developed. all the roles are juicy in their own way--would love to play catherine. would have loved I've never seen this onstage. couldn't stand wathing the movie after reading the script.

it is very cafefully written and the math in it is written in such a way that it becomes intriguing rather than boring. gets into the emotional and creative aspect of being a mathmatical genius and how that way of thinking eventually drives some people mad. it's beautifully sad. the characters are beautifully developed. all the roles are juicy in their own way--would love to play catherine. would have loved to see mary-louise parker in the role. really has a life of its own.
Dana Mccloskey
A very good intellectual read. While some may not care for this one for its simplicity, I found it to be quite entertaining. The relationship between the main character and her father draws a beautiful line between passion and insanity over the art of mathematics. The plot certainly has its fair share of drama and some brilliantly written scenes that lead the audience one way while trying to say something else. You'll definitely fine yourself lost in the rapture of math and beauty. One of my fav A very good intellectual read. While some may not care for this one for its simplicity, I found it to be quite entertaining. The relationship between the main character and her father draws a beautiful line between passion and insanity over the art of mathematics. The plot certainly has its fair share of drama and some brilliantly written scenes that lead the audience one way while trying to say something else. You'll definitely fine yourself lost in the rapture of math and beauty. One of my favorite plays.
Emily
Years ago I had seen the film version of Proof, but didn't remember the plot too much, so when I happened upon the play in the library's special shelves for high school summer reading, I thought I ought to read it.

In only 83 pages, Auburn effectively creates four believable characters and so perfectly choses scenes that you take in years of story and backstory with these brief pages. Act 1 concludes with such energy and surprise that it creates perfect momentum for the rest of the play.

Well-cr Years ago I had seen the film version of Proof, but didn't remember the plot too much, so when I happened upon the play in the library's special shelves for high school summer reading, I thought I ought to read it.

In only 83 pages, Auburn effectively creates four believable characters and so perfectly choses scenes that you take in years of story and backstory with these brief pages. Act 1 concludes with such energy and surprise that it creates perfect momentum for the rest of the play.

Well-crafted, layered, and full of emotions, I really enjoyed this.
Jacq
I read this play having acted in it previously. However, I hadn't had the opportunity to really go into depth with it until now, and I enjoyed the experience. I liked how the plot developments were staged in such surprising ways: dead father is talking, the proof, etc. It added an air of excitement to the mathematical drama.
Something I loved was how the mathematics seemed to have found its way into the characters– all were at least attempting to be cool, calculating, and logistical, and yet the I read this play having acted in it previously. However, I hadn't had the opportunity to really go into depth with it until now, and I enjoyed the experience. I liked how the plot developments were staged in such surprising ways: dead father is talking, the proof, etc. It added an air of excitement to the mathematical drama.
Something I loved was how the mathematics seemed to have found its way into the characters– all were at least attempting to be cool, calculating, and logistical, and yet the all failed. To them, math means more, so they mean more.
Yian
I didn't really feel like the play had anything of substance. Maybe I'm missing the point, but I felt the plot was rather simplistic and only had one substantial conflict going on (her need to prove that the proof was hers). Everything else seemed to touch only shallowly on the connection between genius and insanity.

I was also disappointed at the lack of anything really mathematical---couldn't some things (the proof, for one) be given a bit more detail?
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