Estrella Mountain Community College students have teamed up with some of New York’s top talent to present Proof, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that kicks off the school’s theater season.
The play, which runs from Thursday, November 16, to Saturday, November 18, is produced and directed by Megan Rini and Tim Butterfield, MFA graduates from New York’s New School for Drama.
Proof tackles themes of loss, uncertainty and relationships. It follows a young woman named Catherine as she grieves her mathematician father and questions her future and his legacy.
“At its simplest level, it’s a family drama,” Butterfield said. “It also has a lot to say about faith in one’s self and each other.”
The four-student cast has been working on Proof since September. Taylor Tunnell, who plays Catherine, is a first-year theater student. The production has introduced her to community college theater and professional acting.
“The people in theater are so connected with each other and they’re always there supporting each other,” she said. “Just working with these shows and really getting into your characters and the story is such an exciting thing.”
Duncan Bruce, who is also a theater major, plays the deceased father’s mentee, Hal.
“This is my first show working under Tim and I’m absolutely loving it,” Bruce said. “He’s one of the best directors I’ve ever worked with.”
The show also features Bridget Russell as Claire and Brian Driscoll as Robert, the father.
Driscoll, who has been performing for about 50 years, has acted and assisted on the technical side. He is one of the student workers who helped bring the bustling program to where it is today.
Butterfield said the play, which nabbed a Tony Award in 2001, is part of an effort to bring more contemporary shows and industry practices to EMCC’s rapidly expanding theater program. EMCC will also stage These Shining Lives, directed by Rini, in the spring.