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‘Proof’ to Be Staged on Campus; Cast Shares Insight

Award-winning drama to be staged twice this weekend.This week, Student Activities will present its first in a series of three plays to be produced during the 2006-07 academic year: “Proof,” by David Auburn, kicks off the season at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the ACC Auditorium. Admission is free.

This drama has a cast of four; each holds a crucial element to the equation of the story. Throughout the week, each student cast member shareshis or her thoughts on the production and begins to give the audience an inside look at the brilliance of “Proof.”

The play revolves around Catherine, a student mathematician who is afraid she is becoming more like her obsessive, mathematical and psychologically disturbed father, Robert. Can Catherine possess the inner strength to overcome her fear, start a relationship with Hal, and, more importantly, prove to her sister, Claire, she isn’t insane? Intertwined among this drama and love, lies a proof of a mathematical theorem, Germain Primes. The question is, who wrote it?

Current Student Government Association President Jim Riedel will portray Robert, and has found this character a challenge in many different elements.

“Robert is an interesting character,” Riedel said. “He feels like that witty, sarcastic math professor we have all had at one time. His contributions to his field were monumental and his ability to advise students was excellent, but it would seem that his skills as a parent suffered. His illness is tragic.”

Riedel has been involved with the production since its conception last spring. After last year’s successful performance of “The Vagina Monologues,” he felt the time for theatre at Penn College was now and became an active leader in making the dream a reality.

“I want people to see that Penn College has more abilities in the fine arts. We have students with such incredible potential and we need more outlets like theater. This is a production that several very dedicated people have worked tirelessly on for the past six months. It’s something that every student needs to come out and support because we are doing this entirely for the students and the Penn College community,” he said. “This entire production is an opportunity to challenge myself and make a character on paper truly come alive. It makes you think on a level that no class could teach.”

Director Kevin A. Hickman commented on Riedel’s performance: “Since the first rehearsal, Jim has brought this character to life. He has a moment with Catherine (Amanda LeClair) in the beginning of the show that chokes me up every time we run it. He has this presence about him; it puts the whole cast at ease.”

“Proof” won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama, along with the Tony Award for Best Drama, Broadway’s most coveted award. “Proof” is presented by arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc. in New York.

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