Palos Verdes PeninsulaHigh School

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
Drama Class » PROOF


Proof by David Auburn, October 5-8, 2023

Proof is the story of an enigmatic young woman, Catherine, her manipulative sister, their brilliant father, and an unexpected suitor. They are all pieces of the puzzle in the search for the truth behind a mysterious mathematical proof.

In Proof, the young but guarded Catherine grieves over the loss of her father, a famous mathematician who had become a legend at the local university for solving complicated proofs, and for suffering from dementia. Just as Catherine begins to give in to her fear that she, too, might suffer from her father’s condition, Catherine’s older sister Claire returns home to help “settle” family affairs and Hal, one of the father’s old students, starts to poke around the house. What Hal discovers in an old speckle-bound notebook brings to light a buried family secret.

It tests the sisters’ kinship as well as the romantic feelings growing between Catherine and Hal.

This poignant drama about love and reconciliation unfolds on the back porch of a house settled in a suburban university town, that is, like David Auburn’s writing, both simple and elegant. (

Production Staff
Assistant Director and Stage Managers
   Interviews (as needed), May 17 and 19, lunch and after school
   Production meeting, May 24 at 330pm
Callbacks (as needed), June 2 at 4pm
First rehearsal, August 14
Production Crew
   General Stage Crew Applications due, August 28 at 330pm (Available in August)
Tentative production calendar (as of April 26, 2023) below.

There will be 4-8 actors cast in this production (Double Casting is an option)
Each cast member will also be required to work at least one day of set construction.



Catherine is the quick-witted, stubborn, and prickly protagonist of the play. Her father, Robert, was a famous mathematician, and when the play opens, he has recently died. Catherine (who is in her mid-twenties) has been caring for him for the past few years, and now that he’s gone, she has to figure out what to do with her life next.


Hal is one of Robert’s former PhD students at the University of Chicago. After Robert’s death, it’s Hal who goes through Robert’s 103 notebooks, searching through delusional scribblings to see if there’s anything with mathematical value. This means that Hal is a frequent visitor at Robert’s (now Catherine’s) house, which leads him and Catherine to socialize. 


Claire is Catherine’s older sister and Robert’s oldest daughter. She is stylish, level-headed, and pushy. The pushiness becomes immediately clear when Claire arrives in Chicago for her father’s funeral and asks Catherine to move to New York to live with her, since she believes that Catherine, like Robert, is too mentally ill to live alone.



Catherine and Claire’s father, Robert, was a brilliant mathematician and caring dad who also suffered from severe mental illness. At the beginning of the play, Robert has recently died, and a central question is whether he has passed his defining traits—his genius and his illness—onto Catherine, the daughter with whom he was closest.


CREW POSITIONS (15-34 students chosen)
Note: Some students may be staffed into multiple departments, depending on need.


Assistant Director(s) – 2-3 chosen. Must be 10th,11th or 12th grader. AD’s participate in the audition and casting process and work alongside Mr Cohen throughout the rehearsal process. AD’s take blocking notes, work with actors on their character development process, run some of the rehearsals and provide additional support to cast in their preparation. Assistant Directing a production with Mr. Cohen is a pre-requisite for anyone hoping to direct the annual Student Production.


Stage Manager – 1-2 chosen. Must be 11th or 12th grader. The SM works with Mr Cohen in helping to lead the stage crew through the production process. They deal with much of the production business and, with their ASM’s, oversee most of production. During the rehearsal process, they track the technical elements that are being introduced to the staging to ensure prop and costume lists are up to date. The Stage Manager is expected to be a part of the crew interview process.


Assistant Stage Manager/Crew Leads – 2-5 chosen. Must be 10th,11th or 12th grader. ASMs work with the SMs and Mr Cohen to help make sure that the staging side of production is in coordination with the technical side. Maintaining prop lists, managing small crew departments and build groups and house management fall under the purview of the ASM’s. As Department leads, ASM’s will are expected to be a part of the crew interview process.


Lighting – 2-5 chosen. All grades. Members of the lighting crew will learn about how our lighting system works and about the concepts of lighting design and implementation. Student lighting crew will work with the lighting designer and electrician team from StreetLite, LLC on the light hang and focus days. 1-2 students from lighting crew will run the light board during performances.


Sound – 2-5 chosen. All grades. Members of the sound crew will learn about how our sound system and about the concepts of design and implementation. Student sound crew will receive training in mixing and microphone maintenance. Two students will be working in the sound booth during performances mixing and cue-ing the show. In addition, an A3 from sound crew will work backstage as additional microphone support.


Props – 2-3 chosen. All grades. Working with an AD and a crew lead, the Props team will build and maintain a props list for the production. They will built or coordinate acquisition of props from off campus. As props are brought in, they will work to organize and track props and provide prop support to cast.


Publicity & Video – 1-5 chosen. All grades. Working with a crew lead, the publicity helps to implement the publicity plan for the production; including, but not limited to poster/program/artwork design, advertising creation and trailer creation. Video will include creation of a show trailer, as well as coordinating the video recording of the show. There is a possibility of live streaming the production, but that is not yet settled with the publisher. 


Costumes/Makeup – 4-8 chosen. All grades. Working with a crew lead, the costume crew helps to track costume needs of actors. Working with our costume designer, they help to track and maintain costume pieces throughout the tech and performance weeks, as well as help with makeup/hair design and implementation. Basic sewing skills are a plus, but not a must.


Set Construction Crew – Up to 10. All grades. At PVPHS we build our own set pieces. Working with Mr. Cohen, the entire stage crew is involved in this process. Depending on interest and number of crew applications some members may be brought in as set construction only. If anyone has the experience and interest, a construction foreperson will be assigned.


Running Crew: No running crew will be needed/staffed for this production.