I know I’ve been a bit quiet on After the House Lights recently because… I’m busy operating sound for an absolutely wonderful play at Walterdale Theatre called Proof.
The 2001 Pulitzer Prizer winner, written by David Auburn and directed by Kristen Finlay, is about math, genius, trust and – most resonantly for me – the feeling that you have to keep moving/doing/achieving. Proof is the story of Catherine, the daughter of Robert, a recently deceased brilliant mathematician, who had a mental illness. Catherine is worried that she has inherited both her father’s genius and his madness. Claire, Catherine’s older sister, has flown into Chicago to help, in her own way, while Hal just wants to provide a final tribute to his former supervisor, but ends up getting involved much deeper than he thought he would.
We’re just about to enter the second week of the show and I want to put in a quick plug for the show now that the weather is supposed to warm up! This show is absolutely amazing – the actors (Gabby Bernard, Dale Wilson, Jordan Ward, and Jessica Watson) surprise and delight me every night with their beautiful portrayal of the complicated relationship between a father, his two daughters, and a grad student who studied under the father. And man do those actors look good on stage! I want Costume Designer Elaina Bolton to redo my wardrobe. Every time Jessica (in the role of Claire) walks on stage, I think, “Damn, now that’s what I should wear to work.”
From a technical perspective, this play absolutely sings. For about two days during tech week I was struck by the beauty of the set, designed by Joan Heys Hawkins. Yesterday afternoon I got a chance to step on deck during the archival photo shoot and was shocked at the detail painted into the bricks on the exterior of the house where the play takes place. Of course, the show’s lighting (designed by Richard Hatfield) adds another dimension to the set and its subtlety perfectly accents the nuances of the script.
And lastly, the sound. One of the reasons I was interested in helping out with Proof was the opportunity to deepen my understanding of what goes into producing a play, and I’m so thankful Kristen let me help out with the show. I was fortunate enough to spend an hour with Sound Designer Erin Foster-O’Riordan as she built the sound for Proof – I learnt so much about sound in theatre in that one hour I spent with Erin. I love the music in this show – it’s absolutely rockin’. Before the end of the show, I’m going to buy all the songs used in Proof.
Proof runs every night at 8:00 until December 14 at Walterdale Theatre (10322 83 Avenue). Tickets are $12 – $18 and can be bought at the door or at Tix on the Square.
Read more about Proof on Walterdale Theatre’s website, or read what else has been written about the show: