Arliss Jeffries portrays Robert in Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's production of Proof, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn.
Arliss explained that Robert and his daughter Catherine face similar challenges in the play.
"Robert and Catherine share this common thread of schizophrenia, of genius bordering on insanity. During the course of the play, Catherine begins to notice that the problems Robert has are beginning to crop up in her life," Arliss said.
Arliss was interested in acting in Proof because Robert is a well-developed character with many interesting aspects.
"I like Robert's complexity," he explained. "I was beginning to think there weren't any more parts out there like this. This type of character is fun to work with because you have to dig, you have to pull back layers and see where the character has been. You have to examine all the different factors in his life. You have to look at the emotional range -- the embarrassment and anger he feels when he realizes what he was like when he lost control."
Arliss concluded by suggesting what an audience will take with them after a performance of Proof.
"Because this is a university town and there are some incredibly intelligent people here, the audience will take away maybe an understanding of the forces that are operating around someone who is this intelligent, as well as the forces that they resist," he said.
"For example, Claire -- Catherine's sister -- is as normal as a person can be. But she has no way to understand or cope with what Catherine is going through. Claire is trying to understand what is happening with this person who is so intelligent and, in some respects, so messed up. Claire knows Catherine has problems, but she has no idea how to handle Catherine's problems."
Proof opens Friday, November 7, at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette, home of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. It runs each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through November 23. Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday afternoon performances begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults, $10 for youth.
For more information about the play or for ticket infomation, please call 765-423-PLAY (7529) or visit Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette's Web site.