“Proof” that English Theatre’s back


A theatre play that won both the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play is coming to Leipzig. Brace yourself for a delightful night with great acting and existential questions – “Proof” is here.

"Proof" rehearsal, ETL. (Photo: Andrea Tabary)
“Proof” rehearsal, ETL. (Photo: Andrea Tabary)

We struggle with fear and uncertainty throughout our lives. Our past experiences and memories create our own little universe of views that let us decipher the world around us in our very own way. The judgments and decisions we make today are based on these preconceptions.

Do we base our actions on faulty views all too easily? How can we see a new experience with fresh eyes and take each person as an individual without being judgmental? And can we overcome our own predetermined rules?

These questions are at the heart of David Auburn’s award-winning play Proof, currently staged by the English Theatre Leipzig (ETL) company.

It casts its glaring lights on these very difficult and all too human topics with Catherine, the central character of the play. She’s the daughter of Robert, a former leading mathematician.

"Proof" rehearsal, ETL. (Photo: Andrea Tabary)
“Proof” rehearsal, ETL. (Photo: Andrea Tabary)

Upon the latter’s death, she comes to understand how much of her own academic opportunities she has sacrificed at the expense of looking after her ailing father. And there’s her sister Claire and Hal, a former student of Robert, who help the audience experience Catherine’s angst-filled suffering when she sees herself exposed to the preconceptions of those around her.

Proof excels whenever there are father-daughter scenes in terms of flashbacks, revealing Catherine’s often conflicting desires. We come to understand that Catherine’s academic goals were sacrificed by feeling responsible for dealing with her father’s mental decay.

She sees her own creative urges offset in the face of an inescapable propensity for lethargy. And she worries that any genius streak her father passed on to her may also display the hereditary symptoms of the same affliction to which he fell victim.

Genius and madness are themes just as close and conflicting as trust and betrayal, and Catherine is faced with a decision that could fundamentally change her life and those around her.

English Theatre Leipzig – “Proof” flyer

“Proof” Cast

  • Robert, a mathematician: Andrew Wells
  • Catherine, his elder daughter: Abigail Akavia
  • Claire, his younger daughter: Jelena Stojković
  • Hal, one of his students: Felix Kerkhoff
  • Director: Hannes Flor
  • Assistant Director: Andréa Tabary

Check out this theatre review for a more in-depth impression of the play.

Showing at Neues Schauspiel Leipzig (Lützner Str. 29, 04177 Leipzig).

Performances in English, on September 6, 7, 8, 14 and 15. Opens at 8 pm. Tickets €13, €9 reduced.

Buy your ticket online, call 0341 927 997 70, or pick it up at the foyer, in the Tante Manfred theatre bar.

A cosmopolitan butterfly that feels at home where people are friendly and coffee is strong. As a person with a wide range of interests and a low attention span, he succumbs to the charm of novelty all too readily. Literature, film, photography and politics on Mondays, playing dead and g(r)ooming dogs on Tuesdays. Hand him a beer and he’ll talk about football, tell him a lie and he’ll tell you two.

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