JEST opens 21st season with 'Proof'

Auburn intertwines family drama with math in his intense play about a young woman's struggle with mathematical genius and mental illness.

To open its 21st season, the Jerusalem English Speaking Theater (JEST) puts on one of the most acclaimed plays in recent years, David Auburn's Proof. A major hit on Broadway and winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for best play in 2001, it was recently made into a motion picture starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins. Auburn intertwines family drama with a mathematical mystery in his intense, four-character play about a young woman's struggle with mathematical genius and mental illness. Catherine has cared for her father, a brilliant mathematician and professor, for many years. Upon his death, a former student discovers a proof about prime numbers supposedly written by the professor. The title refers to that proof and to the play's central question: Can Catherine prove the proof's authorship? The play explores Catherine's fear of following in her father's footsteps both mathematically and mentally. In the JEST production, Catherine is played by Gayle Meyers, an American actress who has been performing since the age of six. Robert, Catherine's mathematical genius father, is played by Arthur Fischer. Hal, the former student of Robert's who becomes Catherine's new love interest, is played by Howard Metz. Fischer and Metz have acted in many past JEST collaborations. Tania Hirshman plays Claire, Catherine's older sister. The play is directed by Pnina Fredman-Schechter, a New York director and a former professor of acting at NYU. JEST will stage fours performances of Proof- Wednesday and Thursday (Nov 15 and 16) at 8 p.m; and Nov 22 at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., all at the Kibbutz Ramat Rachel Hotel auditorium. Admission is NIS 70. To reserve, call (02) 642-0908.