Cornell professor appearing in Coe College production

Jim Van Valen, associate professor of theatre at Cornell College, is appearing in Coe College’s production of the Pulitzer and Tony award-winning play “Proof.” The show runs Sept. 20-22 and 26-28 in Dows Theatre on the Coe campus.  All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the Sunday, Sept. 22 show, which starts at 2 p.m.  

Jim Van Valen
Jim Van Valen

Directed by Steven Marc Weiss, associate professor of theatre arts at Coe, “Proof” features a cast that includes three Coe College students and Van Valen, who is appearing by special permission of Actor’s Equity Association.

The action of “Proof,” which won both a Pulitzer Prize for drama and a Tony Award for best play, centers on uncertainty regarding the authorship of a particularly significant mathematical result.  But this brilliant piece also works on a more probing psychological level, examining the link between genius and mental instability and the limited extent to which truth ultimately can be knowable.

Van Valen’s appearance is part of an ongoing collaboration between the theatre departments at Cornell and Coe.

“Over the last few years, the Cornell theatre department and the Coe theatre department have provided opportunities for our students to see each other’s work by furnishing one another with free tickets to productions,” Van Valen said. “Such a connection has been helpful in building a relationship with our departments.  We have also worked together on bringing in guest artists from around the country to work with our students and on connecting with each other as theatre practitioners through conferences and various discussions.”

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