The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem

A twenty-character extravaganza of thought and emotion which tells the story of Moses Vazsonyi, a renowned number theorist who at 47 already fears that he has lost his edge in the intellectually grueling world of prime number theory.

Play title: The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem

Author (s): Rinne Groff

Publisher: Playscripts Inc

Publication Date:

Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Mathematics

Secondary Discipline:

Scientist (s):

Source Texts:

Character Breakdown:

  • The Family (Hungarian):
    • Moses Vazsonyi, Vera, Kleine Esther, Hypatia, and Sophie
  • At the Hotel (British):
    • Mrs. Floraine Hilbert (the proprietor), Gilbert (Mrs. Hilbert’s Grandson), and Clara (the maid)
  • The Mathematicians:
    • Vittorio Veronese (Italian), Claudio Veronese (Italian) , Filipio Veronese (Italian), Botte Van Vriesland (Dutch), Lady Camilla Goldsworthy Lowes Love (American), The 1st Nikolai Nikolaiovitch (Russian), The 2nd Nikolai Nikolaiovitch (Russian), The 3rd Nikolai Nikolaiovitch (Russian), Ramachandra (Indian), and Pierre Louis Le Blanc De Fontanelle (French).
  • The Priest
  • The Doctor

Setting: An Oceanside Resort in Plymouth, England

Time Period: Winter of 1911

Synopsis of Play: A twenty-character extravaganza of thought and emotion which tells the story of Moses Vazsonyi, a renowned number theorist who at 47 already fears that he has lost his edge in the intellectually grueling world of prime number theory. In the winter of 1911 he brings his wife and three daughters to seaside resort in England, where a gaggle of illustrious colleagues have gathered for a conference. As Moses struggles to complete his latest work – investigating a special class of prime numbers which he has knighted “The Hysterical Girls” – he brushes us against his legacy and his failings, his genius and his blindness, his desires and his will. With highly fanciful, stylized language, and dizzingly intertwining storylines of deception, love, theater-making, sex, family, affairs, professional competition, and above all, Math. The Five Hysterical Girls Theorem paints a bright canvas on which the heart and the intellect collide.

First Performance Date: April 19th, 2000

First Producer: Connelly Theater, New York City

Performance History: Target Margin Theater, New York City (2000), Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT (2007), Rutgers Preparatory School, Somerset, NJ (2007)

Links:

http://www.curtainup.com/hystericalgirls.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/27/theater/theater-review-m-mathematics-e-expostulation-c-clarity.html?mcubz=3

http://www.playbill.com/article/groffs-five-hysterical-girls-calm-down-and-close-oob-may-13-com-89184

https://middleburycampus.com/6028/arts-sciences/groffs-five-hysterical-girls-is-one-polished-show/

http://kasmana.people.cofc.edu/MATHFICT/mfview.php?callnumber=mf164

Entered by: Denise Gillman / Brooke Sanders

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