Seminar (play)

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Seminar Play Logo.jpg
Logo of the production
Written byTheresa Rebeck
Date premieredNovember 20, 2011
Place premieredJohn Golden Theatre
New York City
Original languageEnglish
SubjectA series of writing seminars.
SettingPresent day; New York City

Seminar is a play by Theresa Rebeck which premiered on Broadway in 2011.


Seminar premiered on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre on November 20, 2011 and closed on May 6, 2012.[1] Alan Rickman originated the role of the lead character, Leonard. Jeff Goldblum[2] replaced Rickman as Leonard on April 1, 2012. The production was directed by Sam Gold and featured original music by John Gromada. This production was nominated as Best Play by the Outer Critics Circle [3] and the Drama League, but did not earn any Tony Award nominations.[1]

Seminar opened at the San Francisco Playhouse on May 3, 2014, and received outstanding reviews from the local press.[citation needed] The play was directed by Amy Glazer; the role of Leonard was played by Charles Shaw Robinson.[4]


Set in present-day New York City, Seminar follows four young writers — Kate, Martin, Douglas, and Izzy — and their professor, Leonard. Each student has paid Leonard $5,000 for a ten-week writing seminar to be held in Kate's Upper West Side apartment. As tensions arise and romance falls, they clash over their writing, their relations, and their futures.

Principal roles and Broadway casts[edit]

Character Description Original Broadway performer Closing Night Broadway performer
Leonard The seminar's professor, he has long, dramatic history as a writer. Alan Rickman Jeff Goldblum
Martin A writer who is struggling financially. He is afraid to show his work to anyone. Hamish Linklater Justin Long
Douglas Nephew of a famous playwright from Harvard. He can actually write, but is constantly accused of "name dropping." Jerry O'Connell Jerry O'Connell
Izzy Deemed a good writer from the beginning, she is at the center of the group's romantic conflicts. Hettienne Park Hettienne Park
Kate Her writing is immediately criticized as having a narrator no one cares about. She constantly tries to prove herself. Lily Rabe Zoe Lister-Jones

Critical reception[edit]

The play was mostly well received. Ben Brantley of The New York Times criticized some script elements, but praised Rickman's acting: "This mélange of feelings, magnificently orchestrated by Mr. Rickman, is arrived at after Leonard has only glanced at the first couple of pages of a vast manuscript. But ... I felt an authentic rush of pleasure and the exhilaration of being reminded that in theater, art comes less from landing lines than [from] finding what lies between them."[5]

Elysa Gardner of USA Today called Seminar an "enriching study".[6] David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter found the play "tight, witty and consistently entertaining, acquiring more muscle as the layers are peeled back to reveal both the scarred humanity and the numbness beneath Leonard’s soured exterior."[7]


  1. ^ a b Kenneth Jones. "Broadway's Seminar Will Be a Closed Book on May 6". Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  2. ^ "Jeff Goldblum In 'Seminar': Alan Rickman To Leave Role, Goldblum Will Step In". Huffington Post. 15 February 2012.
  3. ^ Gans, Andrew. "62nd Annual Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations Announced; 'Nice Work' Receives Nine Nods" Playbill, April 23, 2012
  4. ^ Seminar, retrieved October 4, 2017
  5. ^ Brantley, Ben (20 November 2011). "Shredding Egos, One Semicolon at a Time – New York Times Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Alan Rickman is head of a talented class in Seminar". USA Today. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  7. ^ Rooney, David (20 November 2011). "Seminar: Theater Review – The Hollywood Reporter". Retrieved 25 February 2012.

External links[edit]