Theatre students prepare for performance of ‘Proof’

Vanguard reporter Abby Burgess and Austin Butterfield rehearse a scene for their upcoming play, “Proof,” which opens Wednesday, Oct. 30. Vanguard Photo | Brooke Elward

The theatre department will be running its production of “Proof” Wednesday, Oct. 30, through Sunday, Nov. 3. Director David Rzeszutek said the play follows the relationships and life struggles faced by the main character, Catherine.

“It’s a relationship story about a woman dealing with her father, sister, boyfriend and the recently discovered notebook with a mathematical proof of questionable authorship,” he said. “It is a story of mental decline and how we deal with mental issues.”

Rzeszutek said he chose the play because of the lasting impact it had on him when he saw it performed.

“I saw it on Broadway when it first came out and really enjoyed it,” he said. “The play has stuck with me ever since, and I have used scenes from it in my acting classes with students.”

He said he approaches directing organically.

“I know how I would like to see the scenes portrayed,” he said. “I collaborate with the actors and question them about their choices of movement and vocals, and I guide them as they make their choices.”

Rzeszutek said he hopes the show goes well and that students and audience members learn from it.

“As it is live every night, you never know what will happen,” Rzeszutek said. “I hope that the audience enjoys the story. I have found it to be very touching and thought-provoking.”

Ethan Bach, a theatre education freshman, will be performing for the first time with SVSU. He will be playing the role of Robert. Bach said he enjoys playing this role.

“Robert is a mentally challenging and cathartic role that has been enjoyable since I was first casted,” Bach said. “As this role is unlike any I have played in the past, it has a special place in my heart.”

According to Bach, successfully playing a role can be challenging.

“The only real challenge that I’ve faced is making sure that the character of Robert is both believable and original,” he said. “Although this show has been produced on many stages before, it’s been essential that my character is realistic, yet still stays true to who I am as a person.”

Bach said he uses acting as a way of self-expression.

“I enjoy acting, as it is a form of self-expression that not many other platforms allow for you to explore,” he said. “My favorite part is definitely the different people I get the chance to meet and the lives I have impacted as a result of telling these stories.”

“Proof” will show characters dealing with mental illness, and Bach said he hopes audience members will be able to relate and learn from the struggles depicted.

“I hope that everyone who gets a chance to see ‘Proof’ leaves with a better understanding of what we as humans are able to accomplish once we put our minds to something,” he said. “Also, (I hope they see) how important it is that we look out for one another, especially nowadays … when it comes to facing the daily struggles of life.”

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