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You Don't Know

This song is based off of the play Proof by David Auburn.
Catherine is the daughter of Robert, a recently deceased mathematical genius in his fifties and a professor at the University of Chicago. Catherine had cared for her father through a lengthy mental illness. Upon Robert's death, his ex-graduate student Hal discovers a paradigm-shifting proof about prime numbers in Robert's office. (Spoiler Alert!) Catherine is the true mathematician who discovered this proof, but this is unknown to Hal and the audience at this point in the play. The title of the play refers both to that proof and to the play's central question: Can Catherine prove the proof's authorship? 

Along with demonstrating the proof's authenticity, Catherine also finds herself in a relationship with 28-year-old Hal. Throughout, the play explores Catherine's fear of following in her father's footsteps, both mathematically and mentally and her desperate attempts to stay in control.

The play opens with Catherine sitting alone in the backyard of her large, old house. Robert, her father, approaches her with a bottle of champagne to celebrate her 25th birthday. Catherine complains that she hasn't done any worthwhile work in the field of mathematics, at least not to the same level as her father, a well-known math genius. He reassures her that she can still do good work as long as she stops lying in bed every waking minute and wasting time reading magazines. Catherine confesses she's worried about inheriting Robert's inclination towards mental instability. He begins to comfort her but then alludes to a "bad sign" when he points out that he is, in fact, dead. He died a week ago and is a figment of Catherine’s imagination. Robert disappears as Catherine dozes off. She awakens when Hal, one of Robert's students, exits the house. He's been studying the hundreds of notebooks Robert left behind after his death, looking for any work that could be published. Catherine assures him that the notebooks are filled with scribbles and nonsense since her father wrote them when he was at his most delusional. The song begins during this altercation. 

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