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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"SEMINAR" REHEARSAL

Theatrical Magic in the Making

URI Theatre | By Sergio Suhett     Oct. 1, 2014


Director Bryna Wortman (left)
and Stage Manage Lauren Thiele (right), "putting it together."
Preparation, in art as in life, is everything. That’s the thought which kept running through my brain last Thursday, September 25, when I attended the first run-through of the latest production at URI Theatre, Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar.


I really don’t think most people have any idea how much groundwork goes into a show beforehand unless they’ve actually enjoyed the opportunity to be present for rehearsals. Because this was a run-through, of course, the actors seemed to know all of their lines and their blocking (suggesting an enormous amount of work that had already occurred in the days before I came on the scene!).
Understudies: Raymond Fournier (Leonard), Nick Killing (Martin),
Steve Cavalho (Douglas), Rachel Marshal (Kate), Celine Montaudy (Izzy).
Some other aspects of the show were still unfinished – as, for example, the sets, which director Bryna Wortman assured me were far from finished and will, by opening night, be much more elaborate. I also noticed with interest how the understudies, while sitting in the house, were quietly running through their lines at the same time as the actors on the stage. While it makes perfect sense, it had never occurred to me that understudies might rehearse in this fashion.

"Seminar" rehearsal - from left to right: Stephen Peterson (as Martin), 
Laine Wagner (as Izzy), Christine O'Connell (as Kate),
Belamy Brophy-Baermann (as Douglas), and Chris Morris (as Leonard).

One particular aspect of the show that I really enjoyed – and I am sure you will too – is the sharp and witty dialogue written by Theresa Rebeck. Our actors – all of whom are quite apparently inspired by it- rise to the occasion, creatively speaking. Chris Morris plays Leonard, the famous writer/professor who gleefully reduces his students to nervous wrecks as he tears their artistic endeavors to shreds. The students are played by Stephen Peterson (Martin), Laine Wagner (Izzy), Belamy Brophy-Baermann (Douglas), and Christine O’Connell (Kate).

Stage Manager, Lauren Thiele (front left seat),
 checking her notes for blocking accuracy.

Stage Manager  Lauren Thiele
 helping actors with next scene change.


Stephen Peterson (Martin) 
and Christine O'Connell (Kate)
Tickets for Seminar are on sale NOW, so be sure to head over to the URI Theatre box office in the Fine Arts Center to get yours for what is sure to be a memorable evening of theater – the Rhode Island premiere of Seminar, opening on October the 9th.

For more information and to buy tickets go to our URI Theatre Website.

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