Interview: Sarah Emmerling's in PROOF at The Carriage House Players

Last month, I was lucky enough to see Sarah Emmerling on stage and knew I had to interview this young talent.

By: Apr. 23, 2022
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Interview: Sarah Emmerling's in PROOF at The Carriage House Players

Last month, I was lucky enough to see Sarah Emmerling on stage and knew I had to interview this young talent.

She's the actress who will be seen next in The Carriage House Players production of David Auburn's Proof.

When did theater start for you?

I developed a love for theatre when I was very young. I remember going on school field trips to various local productions, where I became enamored by the stories, the sets, the music, and the ambience. I immediately knew that this was a passion I would sd my life pursuing. Growing up, I seized opportunities to learn more about this fascinating craft by taking acting and voice classes, reading and researching plays, and auditioning for shows. As I approached the end of my time in high school, and faced the daunting question of 'what's next?', I simply could not see a future for myself that didn't involve doing theatre, and in 2018, I graduated with a BFA in Theatre Performance from Niagara University.

You're fresh off one show and on to another. What is "Proof" about?

Proof is the story of Catherine, a 25-year-old woman who has devoted the last several years of her life to caring for her ill father, Robert, a genius mathematician revered in his field and a professor at the University of Chicago. After Robert's death, Catherine worries that along with inheriting her father's brilliance, she also suffers from the same mental instability that he began experiencing at around her age. As Catherine grapples with this fear, she must also navigate her strained relationship with her older sister, Claire, who flies in the weekend of the funeral. While Catherine tries to suppress any sign that she might be turning into her father, one of Robert's students, Hal, unearths a mysterious mathematical discovery that changes everything.

Why did you want to do this play?

I first read Proof quite a few years ago, and was absolutely captivated by the clever dialogue, complex characters, and gripping themes of mental health, grief, sacrifice, and credibility. Catherine is such a fascinating role, and I have been eager for the chance to delve into the intricacies that make her so compelling, relatable, and human. I am honored to have the opportunity to explore this poignant piece with the Carriage House Players during Mental Health Awareness Month, and am hopeful that this show will generate conversation among audiences involving the stigma of mental illness. While this topic has become much more socially accepted since the premiere of Proof in 2000, society still has so much progress to make, especially when it comes to providing mental health resources and services, prioritizing the importance of treatment and therapy, creating safe and supportive environments, and encouraging open discussion and education.

What is there about this character you can relate to?

Catherine is a young woman who feels stuck, unsure of where to go with her life. I can definitely relate to the feeling of being lost, wanting desperately to find all the answers while being afraid of what those answers may uncover. Catherine is also very protective of the people she cares about, which is something I believe audiences will identify with as they watch her relationship with Robert unfold.

Time to promote ... What's going on for you in 2022?

I will be participating in the Brazen Faced Varlets New Play Festival. This fantastic company has assembled a great group of short plays, as well as an amazing team of directors. I have the honor of working with Stefanie Warnick, who is directing a piece written by Aly Kantor called Hot Blood Sundae. This event was supposed to take place in January 2022, but was postponed due to rising COVID cases. As far as I know a new date has not been set in stone yet but I am excited to return to working on this very funny, quirky piece.



Lockport, NY - Proof, by David Auburn is the Carriage House Players' (CHP) spring production at the Kenan Center's Taylor Theater. Performances will take place over two weekends on May 5, 6, 7, 8 and May 14 and 15. Evening performances are at 7:30 PM with Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-Winning play is the story of an enigmatic young woman, Catherine, her protective sister, their brilliant father, and an unexpected suitor. Directed by Jennifer Simpson and produced by Elaine Roberts, the cast of four is led by Sarah Emmerling as Catherine; Joe Sciammarella as her father, Robert; Connor Caso as Hal and Tammy Dobe as Claire.

The Carriage House Players is a collective actors, directors, playwrights and guest artists that launched in 2017, and is in residence at the intimate Taylor Theater.

The Players present original works as well as classic and contemporary plays that reflect themes that are relevant in today's society. Presented during "Mental Health Month," the lead character, Catherine, struggles with the notion that she may have inherited her father's madness in addition to his brilliance in mathematics.

Individual tickets for the show are $15 for Kenan Center members, $20 for the general public, $10 for students 18 and under with student ID, and may be purchased online at, in person at the Kenan Center Business Office, or charged by phone. Ample free parking is available onsite. The Taylor Theater is located adjacent to the Kenan house at 433 Locust Street in Lockport, NY. For further information, visit or call 716-433-2617. Because seating is limited, advance tickets are recommended.

The Carriage House Players are a collaborative program of the Kenan Center, dedicated to enriching lives by providing cultural, educational and recreational activities.

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Interview: Sarah Emmerling's in PROOF at The Carriage House Players


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