OLLI members see Proof that the Bradley Theatre Department is at the top of their game for our most recent theatrical outing. Over 40 members attended the fall production of the play Proof, performed at the Hartmann Center for the Performing Arts at Bradley University. Proof is a Tony-Awarding winning play, and was made into a feature film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins. The show deals with a variety of heavy themes, and prior to the performance, OLLI members were fortunate to expand on these themes through a lecture given by Jim Ludwig, Professor Emeritus of Theatre.
The evening began as OLLI members learned about the history of the Hartmann Center. It is hard to imagine now, but at one time the building was utilized as an athletic facility - and it even had a pool. Today the Hartmann Center is the playground for actors, directors, and designers to build upon technique and develop a strong skill-set within the performing arts. It houses numerous productions throughout the year, including a musical which is always performed in September.
Proof beautifully provokes thought into how we deal with mental illness. The main character in the play has spent a good portion of her early adulthood caring for her father who has a debilitating mental disorder. The actors approached each character thoughtfully and earnestly. The audience seemed to be brought into a world where mental illness and the struggles associated were faced head-on. The discussion points in Professor Ludwig’s presentation rang true throughout the production, and gave OLLI members a framework as they watched the story unfold.
OLLI would like to thank Professor Ludwig and the entire Bradley Theatre Department for a wonderful evening of quality theatre and discussion.