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Transcript of Proof project
By David Auburn
Presented by Emma Squared (Benson and Coniglio)
the 'big idea'
action/chain of events
Catherine must prove to her sister claire that mathematical genius can exist without a formal education, Despite Claire's belief that catherine's mind is headed toward mental illness.
wants to honor her father’s death by
continuing her work in mathematics,
proving to everyone that a woman
with no formal education can make a
dent in this field with natural talent alone.
She Does not act in her own self
interest or to advance her goal;
She argues her case until she has made
all of valid points, but has enough
faith in logic and reason to believe
she will be proved right in the end.
Tries to control Catherine's lifestyle, preventing her from living an 'unproductive life'- she needs to keep her sister from falling into the same mental instability that plagued their father.
Claire is always actively trying to create change in Catherine's life. However, these actions are informed by Claire’s personal perspective and not what is logical, which is eventually why she gives up control over her sister.
Three years before the present, Robert relapses into mental illness again and Catherine drops out of school to take care of him.
1. Catherine drops out of Northwestern to
take care of her dad; begins writing proof
2. Claire puts their dad's house on the market without telling anyone
3. Robert dies and catherine gets depressed
4. Hal starts going through robert's old notebooks and meets a hostile catherine
on the scene
was written before 9/11
the action in the story can be isolated without reference to the state of the U.S.
Set in hyde park, chicago in the early 2000s when there was a surge of immigration
Creates a divide between how the sister's feel about living there
Robert (the father) is a world renowned mathematician WHO TAUGHT at u chicago
emphasizes the importance of education
STIGMA TOWARDS mental illness
claire's fear that catherine will deteriorate like her father did
DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN THE SISTERS ABOUT HOW TO TREAT MENTAL ILLNESS
MEDIATES CONFLICTs BETWEEN THE SISTERS
DOESN'T LET HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH CATHERINE CREATE BIAS
symbolizes LOGIC AND REASON, doesn't accept anything until it's proven
plays in a band ;)
Exists only in flashbacks
Does not influence catherine's choices, but shapes her character
Useful for the audiences as the flashbacks reveal clues for us
A play with Flashbacks!
All present day 2000
Scene 1: 4 years ago
Scene 2-3: present
Scene 4: 3 years ago
scene 5: present day
Catherine Hallucinates seeing her
father and then attacks hal when she believes he is stealing robert's notebooks
Claire arrives and there's immediately conflict between the sisters' reaction to their father's death
hal: the mediator
robert: the memory
Catherine takes a chance on Hal after they find common ground, and they decide to sleep together.
Claire reveals she put Catherine’s house on the market and the sisters fight, exposing their differing opinions on how to handle mental illness.
Hal finds the proof, and Catherine claims she wrote it.
4 years earlier, Catherine tells Robert that she is going to Northwestern, Hal breaks up their fight causing Robert to realize it’s his daughter’s birthday.
Present: Claire thinks Catherine could be insane and Hal believes in formal education, so they both doubt Catherine’s ownership of the proof, causing her to give up.
Claire blames hal for catherine's emotional instability but still agrees to give him the proof to check
3 YEARS EARLIER, ROBERT HAS RELAPSED AND CATHERINE COMES TO TAKE CARE OF HIM, SHE READS HIS 'PROOF' ALOUD AND REVEALS IT'S NONSENSE.
climactic for the audience!!!
claire and catherine have their final argument when claire gives up control over her sister. Hal reveals that he believes catherine wrote the proof.
Catherine agrees to walk hal through the math.
Act one is all factual and reasonable
the first climax is the first time there is an unknown variable
ACt two uses flashbacks to inform the audience the background story to draw your own conclusion
The audience solves the question of the proof before the characters do!
one person's 'insanity' could be another person's genius.
Realism that is not entirely real
example of a nonrealistic element
The scenes of the flashbacks are realistic
even the hallucination seems like a realistic conversation-surprising to find it's fake.
Very conversational and natural
Catherine is pretty blunt and up-front with all the other characters
"Most of all, Cathy. The years she has lost caring for me. I almost wrote 'wasted.' Yet her refusal to let me institutionalized- her keeping me at home, caring for me herself has certainly saved my life. Made writing this possible. Made it possible for me to imagine doing math again."
Robert's Journal Entry:
September 4th, 1997