home_480 Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell and Executive Director Stephen J. Albert present Proofwritten by David Auburn, and directed by Charles Newell. Proof will run March 7 – April 7, 2013 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue. 

This Pulitzer Prize-winning play set in Hyde Park “comes home” to Court Theatre in an inspired new production directed by Artistic Director Charles Newell.  Genius mathematician and University of Chicago professor Robert is struggling with mental illness, leaving his fiercely brilliant yet emotionally fragile daughter Catherine to pick up the pieces of her life.  Caught between a new-found connection with one of Robert’s former students and the reappearance of her sister, Claire, Catherine’s world becomes increasingly unstable. As she struggles to find herself amid her father’s world of tantalizing secrets and hidden complexities, she is forced to face the possibility of inheriting both her father’s creative genius and his terrifying mental illness.

“I’ve long admired David Auburn’s Proof, but when I recently revisited the play, I was completely blown away by a dimension of the text I had not previously experienced,” says Charles Newell. “Having recently lost a parent, Proof suddenly resonated with me as a story about an individual whose grief–painful as it may be–allows her to grow beyond her father and to finally claim her own life’s work.  In order to reflect this new psychological approach to the text, we’ve abstracted much of the design and staging, making this production of Proof unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. I’m thrilled that Mr. Auburn has granted us the opportunity to produce his brilliant masterpiece and to bring it home to its native setting of Hyde Park and the University of Chicago.”

The cast of Proof includes Chaon Cross (Catherine), Kevin Gudahl (Robert), Megan Kohl (Claire), and Erik Hellman (Hal).

The creative team includes Martin Andrew (scenic design), Rachel Laritz (costume design), Keith Parham (lighting design), Andre Pluess (sound design), John Boller (dramaturgy). Sara Gammage is the Stage Manager.


CHARLES NEWELL (Artistic Director/Director) has been Artistic Director of Court Theatre since 1994, where he has directed over 30 productions. He made his Chicago directorial debut in 1993 with The Triumph of Love, which won the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production. Directorial highlights at Court include James Joyce’s “The Dead,Angels in AmericaAn IliadPorgy and BessThree Tall WomenThe Year of Magical Thinking, The Wild Duck, Caroline, Or Change, Titus Andronicus, Arcadia, Man of La Mancha, Uncle Vanya, Raisin, The Glass Menagerie, Travesties, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Hamlet, and The Invention of Love.  Charlie has also directed at the Goodman Theatre (Rock ‘n’ Roll), the Guthrie Theater (Resident Director: The History Cycle, Cymbeline), Arena Stage, John Houseman’s The Acting Company (Staff Repertory Director), the California and Alabama Shakespeare Festivals, Juilliard, and New York University. He is the recipient of the 1992 TCG Alan Schneider Director Award. He has served on the Board of Theatre Communications Group, as well as on several panels for the National Endowment for the Arts. Opera directing credits include Marc Blitzstein’s Regina at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Rigoletto at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Charlie is a multiple Joseph Jefferson Award (Chicago’s highest theatrical honor) nominee and recipient.

CHAON CROSS (Catherine) returns to Court Theatre, where her credits include: Yelena in Uncle Vanya, Laura in The Glass Menagerie, Hyacinte in Scapin, Caius Lucius and Marina in The Romance Cycle: Cymbeline and Pericles, and Aricia in Phèdre; she also played Roxane in Cyrano (Court Theatre and Redmoon Theater). Other Chicago credits include Celia in As You Like It, Sybil in Private Lives, Imogen in Cymbeline, Cressida in Troilus and Cressida, Emilia in The Two Noble Kinsmen and Bianca in The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare); Lady Macbeth inMacbeth (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Grushenka in Brothers Karamazov (Lookingglass Theatre); Sarah in Grace(Northlight Theatre); and Any in The Cherry Orchard (Steppenwolf Theatre). In regional theatres, Chaon has played Lady Windermere in Lady Windermere’s Fan (Milwaukee Repertory Theater) and Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice (The Cleveland Playhouse). She has also appeared in productions with Frump Tucker, Shattered Globe Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, Theatre at the Center, First Folio Shakespeare Festival, and TheatreHikes. On TV and in film, Chaon’s credits include Detroit 187 (ABC), The Boss (Starz), Chicago Fire (NBC), and “My Dog Skip” (Warner Bros). Before moving to Chicago, Chaon toured the US and Canada for two years with the American Shakespeare Center.

KEVIN GUDAHL (Robert) returns to Court Theatre, where he has previously appeared in The Illusion, The Wild Duck,Titus Andronicus, Uncle Vanya, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, My Fair Lady, School for Wives, Putting It Together,The Misanthrope, Travesties and Celimene and the Cardinal. Other Chicago credits include appearances in shows such as Richard IIIComedy of ErrorsA Little Night Music, and Julius Ceasar, and the title roles in Antony and Cleopatra, and Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); roles in The House of Martin GuerreKing Lear, and Turn of the Century (Goodman Theatre); and the musicals 1776 and The King And I (Marriott Theatre). Kevin has also previously performed at the Writer’s Theatre, Drury Lane, Remy Bumppo, Northlight, and Victory Gardens. Internationally, he has had stage appearances in London in Pacific Overtures (DonMar Warehouse), and Henry IV (parts 1&2) (Royal Shakespeare Company’s Swan Theatre); and in Canada, spending five seasons with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in plays such as Twelfth NightLittle Green and Three Sisters. In film and on TV, Kevin has appeared in While You Were SleepingHome Alone III, Poker HouseBossChicago Code, and Early Edition. Kevin is a proud member of Actor’s Equity and a recipient of Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award.

MEGAN KOHL (Claire) is making her Court Theatre debut. Her Chicago credits include Miss Julie in Miss Julie (Vintage Theater Collective); Aphra Behn in Or (Caffeine Theatre); Woman 1 in Wild Women XXX (Vox Theatre, produced as part of the 2011 Chicago Fringe Festival); Mistress Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor (Arc Theatre); Dian Black in Beautiful City (Theatre Mir); and Ensemble/Mom/Judy/Morgan in Frindle (Griffin Theatre). She has also worked with Remy Bumppo Theatre Company and the American Theatre Company. Megan holds an MFA from DePaul University and is represented by Paonessa Talent.


ERIK HELLMAN (Hal) happily returns to Court after previously appearing in Comedy of ErrorsThe Mystery of Irma Vep (for which he received a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for lead actor), Titus Andronicus, and Arcadia. His recent Chicago credits include Eastland (Lookingglass Theatre); Hesperia (Writers’ Theatre); Madness of  King George IIITaming of the Shrew, and Macbeth and Edward II (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre); HonestElephant Man, and Huck Finn (Steppenwolf Theatre); All My Sons (Timeline); The Busy World is Hushed (Next Theatre); Tartuffe(Remy Bumppo); Hatfield, and McCoy (The House Theatre of Chicago); and multiple performances as an ensemble member of Strawdog Theatre Company. Outside of Chicago, Erik has appeared at the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Geva Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Indianapolis Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Houston’s Stages Repertory Theatre and Off-Broadway at The Mirror Repertory Theatre. In film and on TV, he has appeared in The Dark KnightThe Chicago Code, and Boss.

Previews are March 7 – March 15, 2013. Curtain times are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 3 p.m.; Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Ticket prices are $35 to $45 for preview performances; $45 to $65 for regular run performances. Tickets are available at the Box Office, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue, Chicago; (773) 753-4472 or online at Student and senior discounts available. Groups of 10 or more may purchase discounted tickets by calling Kate Vangeloff at 773-834-3243.

Proof is sponsored by Sidley Austin LLP and University of Chicago Office of the Provost.