Revelstoke Theatre Company’s Proof relies on strong performances

Revelstoke Theatre Company presents Proof at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre

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Ana Pollo (Catherine) and David Hawthorn, who portrays mentally ill mathematician Robert. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The Revelstoke Theatre Company’s production of David Auburn’s Proof opens April 30 at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre.

Revelstoke actress Ana Pollo stars in the Pulitzer-prize winning play, portraying Catherine, a young woman dealing with an emotional crisis following the death of her father, a famous mathematician who descended into madness in his late years.

Actors Ana Pollo (Catherine) and Benjamin Menzies (Hal) perform David Auburn's Proof at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer
Actors Ana Pollo (Catherine) and Benjamin Menzies (Hal) perform David Auburn’s Proof at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The play jumps back in forth in time to before and after the death of her father Robert, who is portrayed by skillfully by veteran actor David Hawthorn.

Ana Pollo and Sarah Harper, who plays Claire, the older, more pragmatic sister of main character Catherine. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer
Ana Pollo and Sarah Harper, who plays Claire, the older, more pragmatic sister of main character Catherine. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Proof deals with the emotional journey that Catherine faces. She lived and cared for him, and worries her own mental health could follow her father’s trajectory.

Actor Benjamin Menzies puts in a solid performance as Hal, a young mathematician and love interest, who seeks to leapfrog his career forward by exploring the rambling notes of the deceased genius. His interactions with Catherine draw out her emotional journey and reveal deeper secrets hidden underneath.

Clockwise from bottom right: Director Denny Kaulback, Stage Manager Bill MacFarlane, Sound Designer and Sound Operator Tim Roberts and Lighting Designer and Lighting Operator Darren McKay. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer
Clockwise from bottom right: Director Denny Kaulback, Stage Manager Bill MacFarlane, Sound Designer and Sound Operator Tim Roberts and Lighting Designer and Lighting Operator Darren McKay. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

Sarah Harper puts forward a steady portrayal of Claire, Catherine’s older sister, who draws the action forward and completes the triangular family dynamic.

With a static set, little action and heavy dialogue, the play relies on successful performances by the actors. At their April 26 dress rehearsal, the four actors showed they’re up to the task.

Nearly 15 years since it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the techniques of time shifting and accompanying dramatic revelation aren’t as novel as they were at the turn of the century, placing even more burden on the actors to carry the play. For a small company, it’s a big risk, but based on the April 26 rehearsal, they’re poised to pull it off.

Under the veteran directorship of Denny Kaulback, the actors invite the audience into the weirdly familiar realities of dissonant family dynamics during a time of change and crisis.

Hear our interview with director Denny Kaulback by pressing the play icon on our SoundCloud app below. 

New sound designer Tim Roberts aids the transitions with original compositions, bookending scenes within the sets.

Proof runs April 30–May 2 and again from May 7–9 at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre. Doors at 7, shows at 7:30. Tickets $15/$13 at the door or on the Revelstoke Theatre Company website.