Meet the Cast of Proof – Gabby Bernard as Catherine

gbWhat is your role on/in this production? I play Catherine, the budding young mathematician with a streak of brilliance and disruptively depressive tendencies. She’s grown up in the shadow of her famous father and is now at a critical crossroad in her life: does she move forward and carve her own path, or dwell on what’s already been lost? She’s not much of a typical heroine — she sleeps all day, she rarely leaves the house, and she relies on sarcasm a little too much – but she has an incredible gift, and during the play she struggles with the weight of what having that gift means.

Why did you come out for Proof?  When I heard the show was part of Walterdale’s season, I picked the play up mostly out of curiosity, but ended up falling in love with the story and the characters and knew I had to audition. I’ve also worked briefly with Kristen before and was really drawn in by her rehearsal process. The combination was too perfect to pass up.

What is your background in Theatre? At Walterdale? For me, theatre started out as a minor detour and ended up becoming my focus and my passion. I appeared in Much Ado About Nothing, Village of Idiots and Poetry Unbound (part of From Cradle to Stage) at Walterdale during my first “accidental” year of university, and then went on to complete my Theatre Arts diploma at Grant MacEwan University, where I was part of Into the Woods, Attempts on Her Life, A Little Night Music and The Musical of Musicals: The Musical. There is so much I’ve come to love about this city’s artistic community and there is so much more I’m hungry to learn – my theatrical journey has really only just started.

What do you most connect to about the play? I have always been interested in mental illness, namely the connection between mental illness and the artistic disciplines. Proof deals with a different kind of art – “the mysteries of numbers” – but it is a kind of art all the same, and the characters are all susceptible to the same kind of sensitivities and instabilities that are often attributed to artists. The line between genius and madness is a fine one, and is one that is revisited several times throughout the play. I’ve also had my own battle with depression in the past, so there is a particular connection to Catherine there for me that has been both difficult and eye-opening to re-explore.

Proof is about Math to some degree, how are you at math?  Got any funny/sad/silly math stories? I was pretty good at math in high school – not like, genius good, but good enough to get offered a few entrance scholarships in university. After briefly entertaining the idea that I would do something sensible with my life (hence the year of “accidental” university), I auditioned for some shows at the Walterdale and decided to learn my lines instead of studying for Stats class, and that was basically the end of that. I went into acting and have yet to look back.

What are you most looking forward to/enjoying the most about this production? It’s a solid script and a really amazing team – Proof was exactly the challenge I needed coming out of school. I’ve already learned so much and know there’s going to be a whole new journey once the show goes up, and I’m super grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. I really hope the audience has as much fun watching this show as we have piecing it together.

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