Lees-McRae College opens new play about mathematics and mental illness

“Proof,” the 2000 play written by American playwright David Auburn, will open at Lees-McRae College on Wednesday, Feb. 16 and extend through Saturday, Feb. 19.

The play follows Catherine, a mathematical genius who quits her career to take care of her elderly, mentally ill father who has a brilliant mathematical legacy of his own. After her father dies, a groundbreaking mathematical proof is found among his things. Throughout the play Catherine must grapple with her own future and legacy, the legacy her father left behind, and the true origin of the mathematical proof. 

Who actually wrote the proof? Will Catherine follow in the footsteps of her father’s genius, or of his devolving mental state? This meditation on grief and identity, which features only four roles, allows for a deep dive into the characters’ minds and encourages the audience to build strong connections with them. 

“The play is mainly the story of Catherine trying to move forward in her life,” Director Josh Yoder said. “There are strong wants and needs for each character, and you get really invested in what each character is fighting for.”

The small cast allows audience members to form a powerful connection with what they are seeing on the stage, making the play an intimate, one-of-a-kind experience.

The production will take place in Hayes Auditorium and Broyhill Theatre. Showtimes for “Proof” are Feb. 16–18 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. All four showings of the play are open to the public, and tickets for “Proof” are free for students, faculty and staff. Members of the community are welcomed and encouraged to attend as well and can purchase tickets at the door for $12 per adult and $6 per child. For lodging and restaurant info, go to

By Maya JarrellJanuary 20, 2022