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WALNUT STREET THEATRE BRINGS PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING "PROOF" STARRING FAIRFAX NATIVE ALEX KEIPER
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS
WALNUT STREET THEATRE
DAVID AUBURN’S PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING PLAY,
Starring Fairfax native Alex Keiper as ‘Catherine’
Friday, March 2, 2012 at 8 p.m.
FAIRFAX, Va., Jan. 25, 2012 – This critically acclaimed company – from America’s oldest continuously operating theater – presents a brilliant and touching play about fathers and daughters, genius and insanity, and legacy and truth. Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre appears for the first time at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 8 p.m., performing David Auburn’s “Proof.” Directed by Kate Galvin, this production stars Fairfax native Alex Keiper in the lead role of ‘Catherine.’ A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.
“Proof” tells the story of Catherine, a young woman who left college to care for her ailing father, Robert, a professor and mathematical genius who struggled with mental illness for much of his adult life. Hal, Robert’s former graduate student, comes to search for proof of his mentor’s genius, and finds romance with Catherine. When Robert dies, an astonishing mathematical proof is discovered, leading Catherine to many questions about the veracity of the proof and the impact of her father’s disease on her own life. This moving work is a delightful romance, a drama about family dynamics and a mystery about the true nature of genius. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s recent review of the play called the production “luminous “ and said, “all the performances are tender and subtle and absolutely convincing.”
“Proof” had its world premiere at the Manhattan Theatre Club in May 2000 and moved to Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre in October 2000, with a cast that included Mary-Louise Parker as Catherine and Ben Shenkman as Hal. In 2001, the play received the Tony Award for Best Play, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Drama Desk Award for Best New Play. Parker also earned a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and a Drama Desk Outstanding Actress Award for her role, and director Daniel Sullivan won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. In 2005, the play was adapted into a film starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Catherine, Anthony Hopkins as Robert and Jake Gyllenhaal as Hal. Paltrow was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama for her role.
The Walnut Street Theatre has had a significant impact on both theater history and American history since its inception, and has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Founded in 1809, Walnut Street Theatre was initially home to circus and equestrian events until 1812, when it was converted to a legitimate theater, and hosted its first theatrical production, “The Rivals,” which was attended by both President Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette on opening night. Throughout the 19th century, it was home to a number of firsts on the American theater scene – it was the first theater to install gas footlights and air conditioning; the first theater to host a curtain call; and the first copyright law protecting American plays had its roots at the Walnut. Not only did the Walnut host a number of pre-Broadway tryouts of plays that would go on to become American classics, such as “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” but its stages were graced by some of America’s most legendary actors, including Edwin Booth (the brother of John Wilkes Booth, Edwin was a famous Shakespearean actor who purchased the Walnut in 1863), the Barrymores, Will Rogers, The Marx Brothers, Helen Hayes, Henry and Jane Fonda, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando, Jessica Tandy, Sidney Poitier, Lauren Bacall, George C. Scott, Robert Redford, Jack Lemmon and William Shatner, among others. In addition, the Walnut was the site of the first presidential debate between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Today, the Walnut Street Theatre is one of the most active theater companies in the United States, presenting more than 600 performances to approximately 56,000 subscribers. The Walnut Street Theatre recently celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2009.
Tickets for WALNUT STREET THEATRE’S production of “PROOF” are $20, $32, $40. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit cfa.gmu.edu.
About Great Performances at Mason
Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.
About George Mason University
George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country. Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.