The first show of the 2013-2014 season to open at the Theatre Memphis Next Stage is “Proof,” a Publitzer Prize and Tony Award winning stage play. The play, was written by playwright David Auburn, and originally premiered Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club in May 2000, but moved to Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre on 24 October, 2000.
The play is about a young girl who watched her genius father fall victim to mental illness and eventually die because of it. But, shortly thereafter, it was discovered that he may have produced a brilliant mathematical proof, and the girl sets out on a journey to prove the authenticity of his work, and her worth. She also must struggle to keep her on sanity while pursuing the proof.
Randall Hartzog, Director of Marketing and Communications at Theatre Memphis identifies this play as a beautifully written and moving play.
Hartzog says, “The realistic qualities of the production will be the first local efforts of Jack Yates and Paul McCrae, Theatre Memphis’ new set and costume designers, respectively. Yates, who hails from Oklahoma and was most recently employed by the Kalamazoo Playhouse in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has designed a two story home with extraordinary detail and suggested elements to make the space seem much larger than it actually is.” “Being performed in the Next Stage, the black box concept kind of frees you up to design, but the space can be restrictive,” Yates says. “You have to have the right proportion, and suggested elements have to be fairly realistic because the audience is so close.”
According to Hartzog, “McCrae, who came to Memphis from Threshold Repertory Theatre Company in Charleston, South Carolina, has his own set of challenges.” “The clothes are a reflection of the situation and the set, pretty much. There had to be a sense of being well-worn, ‘lived-in’ and almost too comfortable for the lead character,” McCrae says. “I also felt there should be subtle opposites for the sibling characters. Like an attraction to the same texture but favoring different styles. After all, they are sisters and they grew up together,”
The lead role in the play has been given to Jillian Barron. She is a graduate of Union University in Jackson, Tenn., and will portray Catherine in the play.
Hartzog states, The other cast members include another Theatre Memphis newcomer Taylor Wood and veteran Memphis actor S. A. Weakley. Stephen Garrett, who most recently starred in the Lohrey Stage production of Singin’ in the Rain at Theatre Memphis, rounds out the cast.”
Proof will be directed by Tracey Zerwig Ford, with Dr. Thomas Ratliff as sponsor and WKNO 91.1 as media sponsor.
Theatre Memphis Next Stage is located at 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117.
The run dates are September 6-22, 2013, with Thursday shows beginning at 7:30pm and Friday and Saturday shows at 8pm. Matinees will be at 2pm on Sundays. Ticket are $25 adults, $15 students with valid ID.
The box office phone number is 901-682-8323, with the web address at www.theatrememphis.org.
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