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"Proof" by David Auburn

By September 21, 2012

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Proof by David Auburn premiered on Broadway in October 2000. It received national attention, earning the Drama Desk Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the Tony Award for Best Play. It's a drama that is filled with father-daughter angst. Catherine, the twenty-something daughter of an esteemed mathematician, has just laid her father to rest. He died after suffering through a prolonged mental illness. Robert, her father, had once been a gifted, ground-breaking professor. But as he lost his sanity, he lost his ability to coherently work with numbers. The audience quickly learns that Catherine is brilliant in her own right, but she fears that she might possess the same mental illness which ultimately incapacitated her father.

David Auburn's writing is at its most heartfelt when father and daughter express their love (and sometimes despair) for math. There is a poetry to their theorems. In fact, even when Robert's logic has failed him, his equations exchange rationality for a unique form of poetry.

Read the full review of Proof.

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