Tuesday, October 14, 2014



URI Theatre | By Sergio Suhett

Front Page of Seminar’s Playbill
Rebeck’s Seminar is a play about a group of four aspiring young writers and the writing professor who hurls gasoline-soaked barbs at their dreams and just generally makes their lives miserable. Although, as Marilyn Stasio observed in her review of the 2011 Broadway production in Variety, “the young writers claim to be shocked by Leonard’s unethical behavior,” they nevertheless approach their ever-more-unpleasant interactions with the nasty professor “with more enthusiasm than any of them have shown about writing the great American novel.”

Seminar has provided, and continues to provide, the opportunity for five performers to really show their stuff. I attended the matinee performance of URI Theatre’s production of Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar on Sunday, October 12th, and I am very pleased to be able to report that the cast members more than adequately fill the shoes of their Broadway predecessors (including the likes of Alan Rickman, Lily Rabe, and Jerry O’Connell). One hopes director Bryna Wortman didn’t have to descend to the levels of abject humiliation and name-calling exhibited by Leonard (dismissing one writer’s work as “whorish” is, for example, intended as constructive criticism) in order to inspire her cast to the caliber of bravura seen on the URI Theatre’s stage, but whatever her method, she is to be congratulated. Applause as well, and of course, for the actors themselves: Christine O’Connell (as Kate), Belamy Brophy-Baermann (as Douglas), Laine Wagner (as Izzy), Christopher Morris (as Leonard), and Stephen Peterson (as Martin). 

Seminar cast: Christine O’Connell as Kate, Christopher X Morris as Leonard,
Stephen Peterson as Martin, Belamy Brophy-Baermann as Douglas,
and Laine Wagner as Izzy.

Seminar Set Design by Cheryl deWadener (URI Theatre Alum)
If you’re looking for a masterfully crafted evening of modern comic drama, I heartily recommend that you head over to the URI Theatre box office and buy tickets for Seminar while they are still available. Seminar which opened on October 9th, will play through October 19th.

Watch actor Stephen Peterson talking about Seminar.

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