by David Auburn
Directed by Tamsin Goodwin-Conelly
Catherine has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, on the eve of her 25th birthday, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s. Over the weekend that follows the discovery of a mysterious notebook draws Catherine into the most difficult issue of all: how much of her father’s madness – or genius – will she inherit?
This is a compelling drama that deals with complex issues and emotions. The dialogue is naturalistic and full of subtext. All characters are meaty and rewarding roles to play; each with their own internal issues and insecurities. The play is set in the present day, in Chicago. The staging will be simple and so the majority of the rehearsals will be focused on the text. For this reason the cast will be asked to be off-book early in the rehearsal process.
There is some flexibility with character ages, however, Catherine’s age is set at 25 so other characters would need to fit around this. Standard American accents preferred.
- Robert, 50s – A brilliant and world-renowned mathematician. He sadly goes from brilliance to madness. The play shifts backwards and forwards in time so you see him as he was before and through the degrees of mental instability. When lucid, he is engaging, charismatic, and full of a youthful energy and passion for maths. This makes his decent into madness all the more tragic as you get a sense of a man lost before his time.
- Catherine, 25 – She and her father had a strong bond through their shared love of maths, which is seen in the scenes set in the past. She has spent years caring for him and has lost a sense of normality. She is reclusive, has mood-swings and is passive aggressive – particularly towards her sister. She struggles throughout with the worry that she may become like her father. As she and Hal connect you see some light and hope come back into her life.
- Claire, late 20s – Moved to New York and has the “perfect life” – the career, partner, home and social life. Claire doesn’t share the family aptitude for maths and struggles to relate to her sister. She tries to organise and “fix” Catherine’s life in a practical way without having any real understanding for what Catherine is going through.
- Hal, 28 – He sees himself as a cool mathematician (plays in a rock band) and tries to compensate for the label “geek”. He comes to the house to look through Robert’s notebooks in hope of making a discovery and achieving something great with his career. He brings some fun to Catherine’s life but his ego and pride threaten their developing relationship.
Rehearsals will be on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8:00pm, with one or two Sunday rehearsals in the run up to the performance week.
If you are considering auditioning for this production please get in touch via email: so we have an idea of numbers. Scripts will be available shortly from behind the box office. If you have any questions about the play, audition or rehearsal process please feel free to get in touch. Tamsin G-C