“Proof” hits the mark with the director (with video and photo gallery) | Arts and entertainment

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THEATER: Lynden Performing Arts Guild to perform a story that deals with the mental illness of a family member

LYNDEN – Teri Grimes knows what it’s like to cope with mental illness.

Shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic, Grimes lost his brother.

When the Lynden Performing Arts Guild began planning for its first production since before the pandemic, Grimes chose a story that seemed most familiar to him.

“My brother was schizophrenic,” Grimes said. “This piece speaks to me on a personal level.”

‘Proof’ is the story of the daughter of a famous mathematician who suffers from schizophrenia. Starting September 16 and over the next three weekends, The Guild will perform “Proof” at the Claire Theater, 655 Front St., in the Dutch Village Mall.

“I’ve wanted to do this story for so long,” Grimes said Monday. “Because it’s such a great story. Because it is evidence on several levels. It’s not just a play on math. It’s a play about how a family tries to function when one of its members is sick. I love that aspect of the play, a play about a family struggling with mental illness.

In his director’s notes, Grimes calls “Proof” a love story.

“It challenges us to think about what it means to love and be loved as a child, sibling, parent, student, teacher, romantic partner and, most importantly, what it takes to love yourself. “Grimes wrote. .

Written by David Auburn, “Proof” premiered on Broadway in May 2020 and then performed on Broadway later that year. “Proof” won the Tony Award for Best Play and the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Another reason Grimes presented “Proof” to the Guild board was the size of the cast. Only four actors, one setting.

“So the chances of this nasty disease spreading were less,” Grimes said.

“Proof” stars Hannah Rants as Catherine, whose father Robert (played by Mark Miller) has schizophrenia. “Proof” is Rants’ third community theater production. As the leader, Rants “has to wear this show,” Grimes said.

“She has poise, intelligence and a depth of characterization that is incredible in such a youngster,” said Grimes.

‘Proof’ is Miller’s 15th production at the Claire Theater. Grimes said he was a “strong, centered actor who can elicit an emotional response from an audience with just a gesture or a look.”

“Proof” also stars Tori Niewohner as Claire (Catherine’s sister) and Connor Moulaison as Hal, a former graduate student of Robert.

The plot alternates between events immediately following Robert’s death and flashbacks revealing the life he shared with Catherine, who is also a mathematician.

Living in the shadow of her father, Catherine struggles to balance her studies while caring for her father. She also fears that she inherited her mental illness.

The day of Robert’s funeral, Claire arrives in town, a neurotic New Yorker.

Grimes recently said that Niewohner “reaches new depths as an actress” in her role as Catherine’s antagonist.

“Tori finds her inner steel and captures the extremely complex character with a lot of insight and passion,” said Grimes.

Moulaison, who in real life is Rants’ significant other, has “probably the best natural instincts in an actor” that Grimes has seen in a long time.

Moulaison, who has stated that his favorite actor is Daniel Day-Lewis, has “definite instincts on how to create a compelling character,” said Grimes.

One of Whatcom County’s preeminent cultural venues, the Claire Theater was named in honor of Claire vg Thomas, who helped establish the Lynden Performing Arts Guild. The 160-seat theater is located inside the Dutch Village Mall on Front Street in Lynden.

The sessions are at 7:30 p.m., from September 16 to 18, from September 23 to 25 and from September 30 to Oct. 30 2; 2 p.m. for the mornings of Sunday Sept. 19, Sept. 26 and Oct. 3.

Tickets are available at TheClaire.Org or by phone at 360-354-4425, Tuesday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The cost is $ 15 for adults, $ 13 for seniors (62 and over), $ 11 for children (9 and under).

Due to COVID-19, all spectators must be masked. The game is not suitable for young children due to mature themes and some slight profanity.

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