Production follows “spectacular” regional debut at Tampa International Fringe Festival


How much of someone else are we prepared to accept on faith? What will we never accept about them without proof? If we ever doubt them, can they ever fully prove themselves? What would such proof look like? 


And how do these questions change when we’re dealing with issues involving neurodiversity? 


After their “spectacular” regional debut at the Tampa International Fringe Festival (according to Creative Loafing), Innovocative Theatre is thrilled to partner with Stageworks on the company’s second production: David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama ProofThe show runs at Stageworks July 21-30


The production opens two months after Creative Loafing placed Innovocative’s “must-see” premiere production of Dark Vanilla Jungle among the top three shows at the Tampa Fringe. After critic David Warner praised the “mercurial intensity” of its pre-production preview, Creative Loafing’s Mark E. Leib called Dark Vanilla Jungle “sharply unforgettable, more affecting than most dramas I see in a typical season.”


Proof runs Friday and Saturday nights, July 21, 22, 28 and 29 at 8 pm, with Saturday and Sunday matinees July 22, 23, 29 and 30 at 3 pm. Tickets are $35 for the opening night gala, featuring a prosecco toast with the cast after the show. For all other shows, tickets are $30 general admission, $25 for seniors and $20 for students and military. Group rates are available; all shows are now on sale at


Auburn’s Tony Award-winning script, which was later adapted into a 2005 film starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins, examines the difficulties of loving relationships within a neurodiverse family, and the challenges a neurotypical outsider must confront when he begins to care about one of them. 


The plot spirals around Catherine, a bright young woman who has placed her life on hold for years to care for her father, Robert, a brilliant but increasingly unstable university mathematician. When Robert’s condition worsens, sudden changes must take place. But dramatic questions arise as Catherine’s father, a smothering older sister and a young math professor begin to focus on the long-neglected daughter. How much of Robert’s mathematical genius has Catherine inherited—and has she inherited his instability as well? How much can her word be trusted? And who knows what next move is truly in her best interest?  


Auburn’s suspenseful play reframes age-old issues that apply across a broad range of human relationships. Questions of what can or must be independently verified come up in a budding young love, among old family ties, and with a just-discovered, potentially ground-breaking mathematical paper in this thought-provoking work.


After what critic Mark E. Leib described as her “shattering performance” in JungleMarie-Claude Tremblay explores the psyche of Catherine, the troubled young woman at the heart of this provocative family drama. Regional stage veteran Dennis Duggan, whose portfolio includes awards for roles in Of Mice and Men and A Few Good Men, plays Catherine’s father, Robert. Innovocative founder and artistic director Staci Sabarsky will direct and take the role of Catherine’s older sister, Claire. Newcomer Devin Devi makes his professional debut as Hal, a young math professor who is falling for Catherine. 


Like Dark Vanilla Jungle, Proof furthers the company’s plans to produce shows that are innovative, evocative and thought-provoking – the elements that make up Innovocative’s hybrid name.    


The company will also partner with the Hillsborough chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness by hosting a talkback session with chapter president Karen Fredricks and Dr. Marketa Wills after the July 23 performance. “It’s important that we portray Robert’s decline in an authentic way because so many Florida families are dealing with mental health issues including manic-depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and on-going care for aging family members, that Proof touches on,” states Sabarsky.