Burden of 'Proof'

Legend High School actors take pro approach to summer play

Posted 8/22/16

High school plays aren't typically known for high-concept subject matter, but the theater department at Legend High School aims to change that.

On Aug. 25, 26 and 27, the school will host four showings of “Proof,” a Pulitzer Prize and Tony …

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Burden of 'Proof'

Legend High School actors take pro approach to summer play

Posted

High school plays aren't typically known for high-concept subject matter, but the theater department at Legend High School aims to change that.

On Aug. 25, 26 and 27, the school will host four showings of “Proof,” a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play by American playwright David Auburn. The cast and crew are taking a unique approach to every aspect of the production, from an intimate, theater-in-the-round seating design to the subject matter the play explores.

“It's definitely got more dimensions than most plays,” said female lead Annika Radovcich, a Legend senior who plays Catherine, a young woman with a deep intellect. Aside from learning 80 pages worth of lines, Radovcich said playing a complex character pushed her skills beyond what she used in other school plays.

“She's probably the most in-depth, real character I've had to play,” Radovcich said. “She was a lot to take on.”

Technical Theater Director Bennie Palko said the show includes more drama, introspection and humor than most high school plays, but that was the objective.

“The goal with the summer stock is to get as close to what you're going to experience in a small professional theater production as we can in a high school setting,” Palko said.

The plot revolves around the relationship between Catherine and her father, Robert, a mathematics professor. They are both geniuses struggling with mental illness. After Robert's death, Catherine is left to reconcile their relationship as one of his former students emerges with evidence that may discredit Robert's life's work.

“It absolutely is a drama,” Palko said, adding that audiences can expect to laugh as well. “It really is actually funny, it has its lighter moments.”

Senior Hadley Schmidt, an understudy for the role of Catherine's sister Claire, said one of her favorite parts of the experience was the teamwork between cast and crew.

“We've grown so much,” Schmidt said. “To see everyone come together for this is really cool.”

Schmidt said she also appreciated the play's focus on interpersonal relationships, but she thinks audience members will all find their own meaning.

“I hope everyone can take something away from it that's personal to them,” Schmidt said.

One of the things Palko took away from the production is not to judge the talent she works with by their age.

“They came up with stuff I hadn't even though of, and that steered the show in a different direction,” Palko said. “It was actually a more collaborative process than some of the professional shows I've done.”

Legend High School, Proof, American playwright David Auburn, Technical Theater Director Bennie Palko,

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