Student director to tackle Pulitzer-winning 'Proof'

Student director Brian Heyman brings his vision of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Proof” to SUNY Oswego for this year’s student honors production.

Performances will run Tuesday, Nov. 15, through Sunday, Nov. 20, in the Tyler Hall lab theatre.

The play explores themes of psychology, creativity and cognition, and dovetails with the college’s yearlong “Arts and Psychology” series.

“Proof” is the story of Catherine, a young woman who has lost her brilliant but unstable mathematician father after years of caring for him. In the wake of his death she must confront her estranged sister and deal with the affections of a former student of her father’s. Underlying the action of the play is the question of what Catherine stands to inherit—her father’s genius, his madness, or both.

The honors production is the theatre department’s annual student-run show. The director, designers and crew, all full-time students, are chosen by a panel of faculty to stage one of the four department productions. Heyman, a senior with a dual major in theatre and broadcasting, first learned of his appointment as the director of “Proof” toward the end of the spring semester.

Though this is his first foray into directing, he is excited at the prospect. “I love to shape a story,” he said.

The Smithtown native’s love for theatre began at a young age. His parents were theatre devotees, bringing their son to a number of productions every year. When the adviser of his high school’s improvisational comedy troupe suggested that the stage might be a better fit for him than the audience, Heyman found his passion.

“I want to do work I feel something for,” Heyman said. “I’d love to find a company that I could stay with for years, no matter where it is . . . just doing work that I love.”

In his four years as a theatre major, Heyman has performed in several department productions, including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and last year’s student honors production, “[sic].”

For Heyman, the appeal of “Proof” is the prospect of affecting each audience member individually.

“The play is like an eight-course meal,” he said. “The script offers something to everyone. Audience members who come at it with an open mind will have a lot to relate to.”

A preview performance of “Proof” will begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, with all seats $5. A talkback, led by SUNY Oswego faculty members Laura Hess-Brown of psychology and Sue Fettes of mathematics, will follow.

Subsequent performances will begin at 8 p.m. Nov. 16 to 19, with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Nov. 20. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students, and $7 SUNY Oswego students.

For information or reservations, contact the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141 or

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CONTACT: Kelly Cullinan, 312-3097

(Posted: Oct 26, 2005)