University of Michigan's Basement Arts kicked off its latest season with a production of Proof. Basement Arts is an entirely student run organization that puts on shows through out the year. They are excited to have started their season with the well-known play by David Auburn and proud of how the production turned out.
"Our organization mirrors in terms of formalities of other companies," said Michaela Byrne, "we may be a student run, but we put on proper productions." Byrne is from San Francisco, California and a third year student in the directing program. Proof is the second time that she has directed a show for the company and she really enjoys it. "Being a student run company, we understand the busyness and requirements of our lives," she said, "so we really know how to work together nicely and be flexible. It allows for a good production to come together because we all really understand one another and what each other is going through.
Proof is an intimate look inside a family after the death of the father. Catherine is the daughter that has taken care of her father until his death, while her sister, Claire, who has left, arrives back after his death causing conflict.
Aimee Garcia, from Atlanta, Georgia, is a senior acting and communications major that played Catherine. She enjoys doing shows with Basement Arts because they tend to do more modern and newer shows, which give performers and designers a chance to work on the more nontraditional shows. Garcia loved being able to be Catherine. "She's pretty complicated," she said, "and it was a really good challenge because she is such a multi-dimensional individual."
Garcia had to do a lot of research into the world mathematics for the show as Catherine is involved in them both personally in her own life and because of her father who is considered to be a great mathematician. "It was really interesting looking into the references in the play," she said. "We had been talking with a mathematician at the school and it was interesting learn and see how they think."
"My character, Claire, was involved in math as well," said Danielle Boivin, "but instead of being a mathematician, she is a currency analyst who comes back for the funeral, which had me do a lot of research into that type of career." Proof was Boivin's second show with Basement Arts and the junior from southern Illinois really enjoyed her character. "Claire is a logical thinker who definitely believes with her head," she said. "She genuinely believes she is doing the right thing and she really cares about her sister."
Tim Markham and Matt Provenza completed the rest of the small cast and they, along with the director and crew, worked extremely hard in a short period of time to get the production together. "We were casted towards the end of September," said Boivin, "which is not a lot of time for a show, but we have worked hard and put a great production together."
Byrne is thankful for her wonderful cast and really enjoyed directing the show and how it has come into fruition. "We just paired it down and made it about the people and their problems," she said. All three women said that everyone worked well together and were happy with how the production was. "Honestly, it was a wonderful show," says Boivin. "We had a cast with great chemistry and it was very well directed. We are very happy with the production that we created."
Proof was performed October 11th through the 13th in Studio 1 of the Walgreen Drama Center in Ann Arbor. Basement Arts performances are free and completely student organized. For upcoming productions, visit http://basement.studentorgs.umich.edu.