‘Proof’ to be presented at Firehouse Center for the Arts

david auburn
Elizabeth Pasarilla and Jason Novak rehearse a scene from “Proof,’’ opening Thursday at Firehouse Center for the Arts.

“PROOF’’ AT LAST: Since seeing “Proof’’ in New York in 2001, Suzanne Bryan has wanted to bring the David Auburn play to the stage of the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport.

Now she is, with the production opening Thursday and continuing through March 18.

The play, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2001, is based on the life of John Nash, a Princeton professor who won the Nobel Prize for his work in game theory, but had schizophrenia.


The main character in “Proof’’ is Catherine, a college dropout who has stayed at home to care for her ailing father, Robert, during his final years.

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Catherine seems to have inherited her father’s talent for mathematics. But her sister, Claire, who has come home to attend their father’s funeral, and Hal, a former student of Robert’s, call Catherine’s aptitude into question when she claims credit for a mathematical proof found in her father’s study.

Directed by Bryan, “Proof’’ stars Elizabeth Pasarilla of Beverly as Catherine; Paul Wann of Newbury as Robert; Jason Novak of Newburyport as Hal; and Mara Flynn of South Berwick, Maine, as Claire. Set design is by David Stawasz and set construction by Fred LaRouche.

Bryan, a former resident of Newburyport now living in Winthrop, has been acting and directing locally for many years. Last summer, she directed the popular “Forbidden Newburyport’’ at the Firehouse.

Performances of “Proof’’ are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $22; $20 for students and senior citizens; $19 for Firehouse members. On opening night, all seats are $13.


Call 978-462-7336 or visit

GET YOUR IRISH UP: An evening of Celtic music with Michael O’Leary and Friends is in store Saturday at the Community House in Hamilton.

The annual St. Patrick’s celebration features Irish, Scottish, and English tunes played on tin whistle, Irish flute, uilleann pipes, bodhran (Celtic drum), and guitar.

The evening begins with Tony and Anne Walsh, known as the Knotty Celts, performing traditional Irish songs by the fireplace in the library. Then, local musicians Steve Levy, Linda Swicker, and David de la Barre join O’Leary on stage. Also, Carol McIntyre plays the Celtic harp and performs Irish step dancing.

The evening begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance; $18 at the door. Call 978-468-4818 or visit


DRAW ME A STORY: Wenham Museum presents “Draw Me a Story,’’ featuring 50 original artworks by contemporary New England children’s book illustrators, through March 18, with an opening reception from 1 to 4 p.m. today.

The artists include Pat Lowery Collins of Gloucester, Leslie Evans of Watertown, Giles Laroche of Salem, Grace Lin of Somerville, David McPhail of Rye, N.H., Claire Nivola of Newton; and Teri Weidner of Portsmouth, N.H.

Guest curators are Mary McDonough, owner of the online Child at Heart Gallery, and Pamela Hickey, former manager of the Churchill Gallery in Newburyport.

Children are invited to attend this afternoon’s event dressed as their favorite book character. There will be readings and book signings throughout the day, and children can meet and create art with several of the artists.

Admission to the museum is $7.50, $5.50 for ages 1 to 16, and free for members. For information, call 978-468-2377 or visit

AUTHOR’S CORNER: Journalist Barbara Walsh (inset) is the author of a new biography and memoir, “August Gale: A Father and Daughter’s Journey into the Storm.’’ Sixty-eight years after a hurricane claimed the lives of several of their ancestors, Walsh and her father returned to Newfoundland, with Walsh searching for memories of the August gale and the grandfather who abandoned her dad as a young boy. Walsh speaks about her book at St. Joseph the Worker Shrine bookstore, as part of the Lowell Irish Festival, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Walsh was one of two principal reporters who worked on a yearlong series on the escape of Willie Horton that earned the Lawrence Eagle Tribune a Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: “From the Mud,’’ an exhibition of sculptural ceramics by Glen Szegedy, is at the Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell through March 25. A reception with the artist is 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Objects range from goddess figures to sea creatures to vessels and abstract forms . . . “Art and Architecture’’ is at the Bridge Gallery in Newburyport this month. A reception with the artists is 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday. The focus is on artistic interpretations of architecture . . . An exhibition of photographs by husband and wife Rick and Marilyn Cloran of Swampscott is at the Gallery at Grosvenor Park in Salem through March 29. An opening reception is 3 to 5 p.m. today. The couple has been photographing across America for more than 30 years. This show features scenes from national parks, as well as photographs of New England.

Wendy Killeen can be reached at