Julie Streble, Lenae Price, Cory Hardin & Brad Castleberry in proof.
Photo-Louisville Repertory Co.
By David Auburn
Directed by Angela Miller
Review by Kate Barry
Entire contents are copyright © 2014 Kate Barry. All rights reserved.
Coping with loss, the impact on life choices and the stress on familial bonds are the focal points of Louisville Repertory Company’s production of proof.
Julie Streble plays Catherine with stubborn moodiness as she mourns the gradual decline of her father’s mental health. Her off the cuff remarks are sharp and her emotional outbursts are fueled by confusion. Through Catherine’s mourning period, Streble does well to keep the admiration for her father in tact which deepens the pain and provides an even contrast with other characters within the play.
As Catherine’s sister Claire, Lenae Price is concerned and empathetic. When sharing the stage with Streble, Price remains a level-headed constant as Catherine shifts from somber yet cynical into reactive and argumentative. The strain on family dynamics is a running theme throughout the show, one that relies on the chemistry between these two actresses. Luckily, Price and Streble latch on to the complicated feelings of loss and how it affects relationships between siblings which strengthen the overall production.
Brad Castleberry provides a strong performance as Catherine’s father, Robert. Brilliant yet plagued by mental illness, Castleberry portrays Robert as an approachable professor who we would all want to take classes from. The tragedy of his character breaks through in act two as he unwittingly descends into madness while Catherine remains a mere onlooker. Castleberry walks a fine line in this scene. While staying confident in his mathematical genius, it is his lack of self-awareness that makes his spiral into mental illness all the more heartbreaking.
Cory Hardin provides comedic support as Hal. Eager to impress in his awkward charm, he provides a strong confidant with romantic interest for Catherine. Hardin’s self-proclaimed math geek who seeks truths about Robert’s work stretches from semi-romantic lead to a strong foil in the strongest scenes within the play.
proof is a simple yet elegant script, rich with dialogue that is conversational and relaxed. With such dialogue, Louisville Rep has crafted a production that is relatable and sympathetic.
August 22-30, 2014 @ 7:30pm
August 31, 2014 @ 5:00pm
Louisville Repertory Company
at The Bards Town Theater
1801 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40205