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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Ashland University Theatre Program presents production of Proof 

The production will run from Thursday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 22
Photo taken from  
Promotional poster for AU’s production of Proof 

The Ashland University theatre program is running its production of Pulitzer Prize-winning play Proof, by David Auburn, from Thursday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 22. 

The production stars Gabriel Noble, Keever Whitehead, Mattie Vermilya, and Ellie Nickoli, and is directed by Teresa Durbin-Ames, who serves as both associate professor and artistic director of theatre here at AU. 

According to Durbin-Ames, the decision to run Proof came thanks to the recent College of Arts and Sciences Symposium Against Indifference, which also co-sponsored the production.  

The theme of the symposium, “perspectives on the mental health crisis”, also played a part in its selection. Durbin-Ames says, “The theme was announced around this time last year, and I started thinking about what plays or musicals are out there that might address and connect to that theme.” 

Proof centers around the family and friends of Robert, a genius mathematician who struggled greatly with delusion, paranoia, and mental illness; the main character is his daughter Catherine, who not only inherited her father’s mathematical prowess, but his tendency for mental illness. 

Despite the heavy subject matter, everyone involved, actors and crew alike, had a lot of fun. Keever Whitehead, who plays the love interest Hal, said, “I loved working with the other actors… they’re very lively people and working with them, bouncing ideas off of each other, it’s very fun.” 

Proof is a very small-scale production, taking place with only four actors on a single set, which provided some interesting challenges. Gabriel Noble, who plays Robert, said, “Getting to know the studio space and acting for an [intimate] audience were some challenging obstacles to overcome, but these obstacles have become my most favorite parts about Proof. It’s been fun to learn the subtle aspects of acting in a studio theatre.” 

Mattie Vermilya, who plays leading lady Catherine, hopes to see much more involvement in theatre, saying, “I would not be who I am today without theatre… People should get involved because there isn’t anything I can think of that is more rewarding.” 

Proof opens at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19 at the AU Studio Theatre, and will run at the same time on Friday, Oct. 20 and Saturday, Oct. 21.  

A special performance, dedicated to past theatre alumni, will be given on Sunday, Oct. 22 at 2:00 p.m., after which a discussion will be held with mental health professionals. 

Any students interested in getting involved with AU theatre can contact [email protected] or call 419-289-5100. 

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