An unlikely union of math, love and mystery comes to the stage tonight.
Beginning at 8 p.m., "Proof" will show in the Attic stage of The State Theatre , 130 W. College Ave.
The play will show at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday and will follow the same pattern next weekend.
"Proof" is directed by Jason Poorman , written by David Auburn and will be presented by the State College Community Theatre. Tickets cost $16 for general admission and $14 for students and seniors.
The play focuses around Catherine , a woman who spent years caring for her mathematician father, The State Theatre Marketing Director Cathy Brown said.
Catherine's father, Robert, is "brilliant but unstable," Brown said. He passes away, leaving Catherine to deal with emotional turmoil in the form of Catherine's sister, Claire, and Robert's students, who dig through Robert's 103 notebooks looking for valuable work, Brown said.
Bellefonte, Pa. resident Ben Whitesell plays Robert in the show and said that there's a math proof found, which force the characters to discover who wrote it and who needs to take credit for it.
"It deals with family, math and love," actor Bryan Marsh said.
"Proof" is a mystery/drama, Brown said and has won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2001 and a Tony Award for Best Play, in the same year.
"The main question of the play is will she inherit her father's madness or his genius?" Brown said.
Marsh is a State College resident and former Penn State student of film/video and psychology and plays Hal in the play.
Hal teaches math at a university and was a former student of Robert. The play follows him as he is trying to make his own name, Marsh said.
"He, much like Catherine, is trying to figure out if there is any work left behind that the world should see," he said.
Whitesell said that his character was genius when he was younger but just before his death seems to lose his mind, leaving his daughter Catherine to fear that she will eventually have the same fate.
"Bring tissues," Whitesell said. "It's very serious and very sad."
The State College Community Theatre, which normally performs its shows in the Boal Barn Playhouse, located in Boalsburg, Pa., is a group, which "takes its time to do large volume shows," Brown said.
The State College Community Theatre has been in existence for 55 years and has been in the Boal Barn Playhouse for the past 50 years, David Gritzner said.
Gritzner is the executive director of the State College Community Theatre and said that "primarily everyone [involved in the SCCT] is local and a volunteer."
Gritzner said that "Proof" was a show that he wanted to do because he thought it would work well in the space.
The Boal Barn seats about 200 people and the main stage of The State Theatre seats 571 people, Brown said, thus locating the performance in the Attic was necessary.
The Attic seats 60 to 70 people, Brown said and allows for the play to run more times.
"The stage is in a horseshoe shape," Whitesell said.
The actors can see the audience member's faces and are so close that they could touch the audience members at times, he said.
"There's not a lot of separation between the audience and the actors," she said. "It's upstairs and intimate."
Because most scenes are touching, "it is nice to bring in the audience members," Whitesell said.