by David Auburn
The play opens on the eve of the 25th birthday of Catherine, an extremely intelligent but troubled young woman. She is dealing with the recent death of her father, Robert, a brilliant mathematician, who, towards the end of his life began slipping into a state of mental instability. Catherine had been his caretaker during this time and still feels his presence. She must now deal with her estranged sister, Claire, who has come back for the funeral with a view towards “saving” her sister; as well as Hal, a former student of her father, who drops in to review the 103 notebooks left by their father and is, additionally, romantically drawn to Catherine. Throughout all this, Catherine is dealing with her concern about how much of her father’s genius as well as madness she may have inherited. This winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® for Best Play by playwright David Auburn, brings intriguing questions about the fine line between genius and madness, and how one – or possibly both attributes – could be passed along.
Director: Patricia Hoefler
Patricia Hoefler has been very active with Aurora Players. Last year she directed Amateurs for the winter show and was recognized with a TANYS award for Excellence in Directing. Prior to that, she directed the well-received musical She Loves Me in the fall of 2018 and the Neil Simon comedy Barefoot in the Park two years prior to that.
She additionally directed a number of shows in Rhode Island, where she pursued her MFA theater degree in Performance and Society, with a focus on directing and playwriting. The shows she directed included a modernized version of The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare), Greater Tuna (Ed Howard, Jaston Williams, and Joe Sears), Fools (Neil Simon), and an abridged version of Death and the Maiden (Ariel Dorfman). She also served as assistant director for The Foreigner (Larry Shue) and A Lie of the Mind (Sam Shepard). As part of her degree, she wrote and workshopped several plays, including Living War and her final project, Do UCare which dealt with the healthcare crisis.
When not involved in theater, Patricia is an online humanities instructor and sings in the choir for Saint John Vianney Church in Orchard Park.