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      We had our first rehearsal of PROOF a few days ago. There is a distinct shift in the process once the first rehearsal has occurred. Just before that shift is the challenging, often frustrating, difficult casting phase. I believe it is the most difficult—at least for me—aspect of the whole production process.

      The origins of a production are the years before wherein I see a play on stage (in NYC or while traveling or in one of the area community theatres or…), or see a movie based on a play, or read about a play in AMERICAN THEATER magazine or in NYTimes, or receive a program from an HG supporter who saw a wonderful production whilst visiting their cousin in Oregon, or hear about a play from one of the members of the Artistic Planning Committee. Ideas for possible plays for HG to produce germinate through years, oftentimes; often the ideas die or fade away or hide for a while or flourish quickly.

      I don’t honestly remember how the germ of idea for PROOF originated in our thinking. I’m guessing I read about it during its run on Broadway. Then I know I saw the film with Gwenyth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins and Jake Gulleinhall. Then saw the play performed at the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca (if you haven’t seen a Hangar production, do it.) Then read the play. Then put it on the possible considerations list of the APC at least four years ago.

      A few of us on the APC thought it had name recognitioin—doesn’t everyone know every play that has been turned into a film? Come to find out, very few have ever heard of it. Not seen the film or heard of the play. So much for choosing titles that have name recognition.

      The casting part is difficult. Emotionally. Intellectually. In many ways. There are so many considerations. And it makes it more difficult with there are so many who audition who are talented and have proven their talent in a number of different roles. But, in the end, a decision must be made and then you live with it.

      We had our first rehearsal of PROOF a few days ago. Others could have played these roles but hearing the play for the first time with these actors…I think we’re in for a ride.

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