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  • Proof
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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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on January 27, 2017
It is in good condition as described but has quite a few marks/comments in it through out the book.
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on October 6, 2013
In a very audacious provocative way, David Auburn questions the concept of "normality", converging with the Anti-Psychiatry movement. The counter-hero (the "abnormal" one turns to be the likable hero) while the hero (the "normal" sister appears rather an unpleasant counter-hero!). If he breaks the rule of decency that use to govern the theatre, by making his characters swear and even use the f.... word, it is to enhance their reality and proximity: they could be one of us!
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on June 16, 2007
Very good play. After reading this, one should see the play or the movie.
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on May 1, 2004
I saw Proof performed a couple years ago on Broadway, and have read the script twice since. Any performance of Proof hinges on the casting of Robert (an aging mathemetician) and Catherine (his daughter). The performance I saw had two magnificent actors in these roles, which smoothed away some of the rough edges of the script itself.
Don't get me wrong; this is an amazing piece of playwriting, better than 99% of everything else out there. But the setting of the play is so very static, and its language so toned down, that it takes a very talented and entertaining group of actors to pull it off. The writing of Proof is very much like Chekov -- brilliant, but somewhat unapproachable.
(Drama teachers take note: this is a great play for students to improve their acting skills, but a terrible play for students to actually perform.)
The plot, if not the style, of this play can be compared to the style of the recent big-budget film (based on a novel) Big Fish. But in that comparison Proof comes off looking brilliant, and Big Fish comes off looking overwrought. If this play is done right, there is a moment toward the end that can compete -- in terms of sheer pathos and emotionality -- with anything Sophocles ever wrote. Watch for the stage direction: "After a long moment Catherine closes the notebook." It brought tears to my eyes.
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on April 9, 2004
When I had to read a play for my drama class, my drama teacher handed me this play which I didn't have much hope for. Though it quickly changed my mind as I read this wonderful story about two sisters coping with a fathers death. I LOVE "Proof"!!! Thank you sooo much Mr. Auburn!!!
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on February 18, 2004
I'm glad I saw this one on a stage. This play is an emotional experience that jumps back and forth over five years in the lives of four people. Mathematics is the field within which individual creative activity is sought, but the interesting question about thought at such a high level is how anyone could establish authorship of anything that is authentically new if the circumstances allow some ambiguity. The big joke in the play is about a young mathematician who is drummer in a rock band that performs an imaginary number. It helps if the viewer is familiar with the movie "A Beautiful Mind," as the young mathematician-rock-drummer would be an ideal imaginary character if this play was about John Nash, as seeing people in that movie was not always proof that they existed. The real question that hangs over the future in this play is how crazy anyone is likely to be in the short run and the long run, or if they can muddle through the emotional times without too much of some of the worst alcoholic beverages ever to be mentioned on a stage anywhere.
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on February 11, 2004
Brilliant writing; Brilliant plot; Brilliant dialogue; Brilliant insight: You do the math. This one is a stellar accomplishment, full of sound and fury, signifying just about everything.
I saw this on Broadway, going into it not knowing anything about it. I was completely blown away. The premise is fascinating and it presents a unique and interesting dilemma without being melodramatic.
The writing, scene changes, and excellent characterizations remind me of other writers out there: Miller comes to mind, McCrae's Bark of the Dogwood (though a book, not a play) and even the great Hitchcock. Don't get me wrong--this is not some inept mystery but rather a psychological thriller of sorts, excellently paced and plotted. But I don't mean "thriller" in the commercial way. No, this is one unusual play, and obviously deserved every prized it ever won. Who knew that someone could take such a dry subject as math and create something as wonderful, lush, and eloquent as "Proof."
Also recommended: Death of a Salesman, Angels in America, Bark of the Dogwood, Painting Churches.
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on December 17, 2003
IF you are into sarcastic humor and enjoy some dry wit this is a book for you. Short w/ the sweet and sour sauce it will fit your taste buds to a T. Awesome read
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on July 26, 2003
For those naysayers who lament the death of the theatre, David Auburn's brilliant, intimate, touching ode to the mysteries of life, family, love and identity offers proof that contemporary playwrights are indeed creating brilliant works of art.
Using four well drawn, three dimensional characters, Auburn paints a vivid portrait of a late mathemetician and his legacy of madness and genius. His youngest daughter may have inherited both as the play centers around identifying the authorship of a magnificent mathematical proof (which ends up being a brilliant use of Hitchcock's "McGuffin" rule).
Auburn creates a play filled with an excellent series of suprises, revelations and passionate debates. His narrative is well structured as it provides the actors with clear objectives and a variety of tactics to explore and enact, all engaging the audience's attention and energy.
Four of my friends recently produced the play and produced an evening of magic. A great theatrical experience demands a strong story to tell and Auburn provides such a vehicle with this, his Pulitzer Prize winning work.
A brilliant piece of writing. A must read for theatre fans and practitioners alike. A most producable work as well. It would make for a fine addition to any theatre season.
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on March 14, 2003
I have read David Auburn's play, and saw it on Broadway with Jennifer Jason Leigh in the lead. Even though the performance I saw was less than stellar, the brilliance of the script shone through. Auburn has written four compelling characters, each of which is haunted in some way, most obviously the title character, haunted both by the ghost of her father and the inheritance of both his brilliance and possible madness.
This is a tightly written, emotionally driven four-character drama, full of insight, humor, intelligence, and romance. A must-read for actors, dramaturgs, and lovers of good theatre.
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