Sponsored by: Springfield Theatre Centre
Director – Jen Wallner
Producer – Lynn Martin
Production Coordinator – Matthew Dearing
Assistant Director – Andrew Maynerich
Set Builder – Kevin Ford
Costume Designer – Cindy Wall
Hair/Make-Up Designer – Clare Hart
Stage Manager – Sean Michael Butler
Property Design: Melody Sheehan
April 26, 27 at 8 p.m. , April 28 at 2 p.m. & May 3, 4 at 8 p.m. and May 5th at 2 p.m.
Saturday, February 23rd – auditions
Monday, February 25th – initial read through and get together
Monday, March 4th – begin regular rehearsals (3 days a week – possibly 4 days)
Catherine – Alex Heinen
Robert – Harvey Mack
Hal – Mike Nelson
Claire – Catherine Grant
I spent my life with him. I fed him. Talked to him. Tried to listen when he talked. Talked to people who weren’t there, watched him shuffling around like a ghost. A very smelly ghost. He was filthy. I had to make sure he bathed. My own father. (Beat.) After my mother died it was just me here. I tired to keep him happy no matter what idiotic project he was doing. He used to read all day. He kept demanding more and more books. I took them out of the library by the carload. He had hundreds upstairs. Then I realized he wasn’t reading: He believed aliens were sending him messages through the Dewey decimal numbers on the library books. He was trying to work out the code. (Beat.)Beautiful mathematics. Answers to everything. The most elegant proofs, perfect proofs, proofs like music.
I was in a bookstore yesterday. Completely full. Students buying books…browsing…Students do a hell of a lot of browsing, don’t they? Just browsing. You see them shuffling around with their backpacks, goofing off, taking up space. You’d call it loitering except every once in a while they pick up a book and flip the pages: “Browsing.” I admire it. It’s an honest way to kill an afternoon. In the back of a used bookstore, or going through a crate of somebody’s old record albums – not looking for anything, just looking, what the hell, touching the old book jackets, seeing what somebody threw out, seeing what they underlined…maybe you find something great, like an old thriller with a painted cover from the forties, or a textbook one of your professors used when he was a student – his name is written in it very carefully….Yeah, I like it. I like watching the students. Wondering what they’re gonna buy, what they’re gonna read. What kind of ideas they’ll come up with when they settle down and get to work…
You’re still here. I saw Claire leaving out front. I wasn’t sure if you – (He holds up the notebook.) This thing…checks out. I have been over it, twice, with two different sets of guys, old geeks and young geeks. It is weird. I don’t know where the techniques came from. Some of the moves are very hard to follow. But we can’t find anything wrong with it! I have not slept. (He catches his breath.) It works. I thought you might want to know. I had to swear these guys to secrecy. They are jumping out in their skins. See, one e-mail and it’s over. I threatened them. I think we’re safe, they’re physical cowards. (Beat.) I had to see you.
I think you’re a little bit of an idiot, but you’re not dishonest. Someone needs to figure out what’s in there. I can’t do it. It should be done here, at Chicago: my father would like that. When you decide what we’ve got, let me know what the family should do. And don’t thank me. It’s by far the most convenient option available. I put my card in there, call me whenever you want. (Beat.) Can you tell me about it? The proof. I’m just curious. I’m a currency analyst. It helps to be very quick with numbers. I am. I probably inherited about about one-one-thousandth of my father’s ability. It’s enough. Catherine got more. I’m just not sure how much.
On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has spent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness—or genius—will she inherit?
Catherine: a young woman who inherited at least some of her father’s mathematical genius, and, she fears, his “instability” as well; she gave up her life and schooling to take care of his father until his recent death (female/age range 21-28)
Robert: a recently deceased mathematician who did brilliant, breakthrough, work in his youth, but whose later years were plagued by delusional mental illness; he is seen in Catherine’s imagination and in flashbacks (male/age range 50+)
Harold (Hal) Dobbs: one of Robert’s last Ph.D. students during the one year his idol and mentor’s illness went into remission, at least enabling Robert to teach, if not continue his own creative mathematical work (male/age range 21-30)
Claire: Catherine’s older sister, a no nonsense, take charge, kinda gal who left Robert and Catherine behind in the run down family home on the edge of the Chicago University campus where Robert taught to make a life for herself in New York City (female/age range 27-35)
Please come with the provided monologue prepared and be ready to read for your part as well. Auditions will be be in one hour time slots.