Proof

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Overview

On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father's who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious ...
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Overview

On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father's who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father's madness—or genius—will she inherit?
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Editorial Reviews

NY Daily News
...combines elements of mystery and surprise with old-fashioned storytelling to provide a compelling evening of theatre...[PROOF is a] smart and compassionate play of ideas.
NY Magazine
When we think of the great American playwrights, we think of Arthur Miller and Eugene O'Neill and Lillian Hellman, in earlier generations; Wendy Wasserstein and Tony Kushner, Jon Robin Baitz and Donald Margulies today: They are always writing about big ideas and wrapping them in family squabbles that get us where we live. Welcome David Auburn to the club. PROOF is the one you won't want to miss this fall.
NY Observer
PROOF surprises us with its aliveness...Mr. Auburn takes pleasure in knowledge...At the same time, he is unshowily fresh and humane, and he has written a lovely play.
Variety
[A] wonderfully funny...ambitiously constructed work...
Library Journal
After the death of her mathematical genius father, Catherine, who gave up her own study of mathematics to tend to him, claims that she is the author of a mathematical proof found in the attic among his unpublished, mostly incoherent notebooks by Hal, one of his former students. But what "proof" does Catherine have that she, and not her father, is the author? Her older sister, home to attend the funeral, doubts her claim and, in fact, doubts Catherine's own sanity. Hal, who has professional ambitions of his own, isn't exactly disinterested and may not be trustworthy; his sleeping with Catherine has also complicated the issue. The elusiveness of genius in general and the difficulty of a mathematical proof in particular here become metaphors for the uncertainties of love, trust, and personal integrity. This wonderful play has already won the Kesselring Prize for Auburn, also a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Proof's deft dialog, its careful structure, and the humanity of the central characters are themselves proof of a major new talent in the American theater. Strongly recommended for all drama collections. Robert W. Melton, Univ. of Kansas Libs., Lawrence Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Twenty-five-year-old Catherine, who sacrificed college to care for her mentally ill father (once a brilliant, much-admired mathematician), is left in a kind of limbo after his death. Socially awkward and a bit of a shut-in, she is gruff with Hal, a former student who shows up even before the funeral wanting to root through the countless notebooks her father kept in the years of his decline, hoping to find mathematical gold. On the heels of his arrival comes Claire, Catherine's cosmopolitan, blandly successful, and pushy sister, with plans to sell their father's house and take Catherine (whom she's convinced has inherited a touch of their father's illness) with her back to New York. Catherine does not want to leave, and things become more complicated as she and Hal tentatively begin to develop a relationship. She gives him the key to a drawer in her father's desk, where the "gold" waits-in the form of a notebook filled with the most original and astonishing mathematical proof Hal has seen in years. Thrilled, he wants to take immediate steps to have the proof published in her father's name, until Catherine shocks both him and Claire by declaring that she is its author. Hal's harsh incredulity pushes Catherine into an indifferent funk, sorely disappointed by the insult of having to prove her honesty to a friend she had trusted. There is much to appeal to YAs in this Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play, which crackles with subtle wit while tackling large questions.-Emily Lloyd, Fairfax County Public Library, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580812641
  • Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works
  • Publication date: 7/28/2007
  • Series: L. A. Theatre Works
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2004

    Proofs are fun!

    I first heard about Proof when I was looking for productions to see in New York. Loving math as I do, the title caught my eye right away. I convinced my parents to go see it and we were not disapointed. David Auburn does an amaizing job of making you not only see but feel what the characters were going through. I then ordered the book over the internet. It was very well writen and I would recomend it to anyone who enjoys plays and math.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 16, 2011

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    Posted December 29, 2008

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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