Seminar (play)

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Seminar Play Logo.jpg
Logo of the production
Written by Theresa Rebeck
Characters Leonard
Date premiered 20 November 2011
Place premiered John Golden Theater
New York City
Original language English
Subject A series of writing seminars.
Genre Comedy
Setting Present day; New York City

Seminar is a Broadway play by Theresa Rebeck. It played, on Broadway, at the Golden Theater. Alan Rickman originated the lead character, Leonard. The production premiered on November 20, 2011 and closed on May 6, 2012.[1] Jeff Goldblum[2] replaced Alan Rickman as Leonard on April 1, 2012. The Broadway production was directed by Sam Gold and features original music by John Gromada.


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 current 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


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."[3]

Elysa Gardner of USA Today called Seminar an "enriching study".[4] David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter found Seminar "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."[5]

Seminar was nominated as Best Play by the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League, but did not earn any Tony Award nominations.[1]

Other productions[edit]

Seminar opened at San Francisco Playhouse on May 3, 2014, and received outstanding reviews from the local press. The role of Leonard was played by Charles Shaw Robinson.[6]


  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. ^ Brantley, Ben (20 November 2011). "Shredding Egos, One Semicolon at a Time – New York Times Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  4. ^ "Alan Rickman is head of a talented class in Seminar". USA Today. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Rooney, David (20 November 2011). "Seminar: Theater Review – The Hollywood Reporter". Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  6. ^ . San Francisco Playhouse Retrieved 2014-05-09.  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]