Through her intricate design of Neverland, scenic designer McKay Coble aims to transport the audience back to their childhood where magic feeds off itself and imagination. She wants to remind adults what it was like to be an imaginative kid and create something complicated out of nothing. “I want them to look at the set and go ‘Oh, I had a tree house like that, I had a fort. I’ve picked up a switch, and it was a sword.'”
We live in an age of revisionist art. A dizzying array of sequels, prequels, remakes, origin stories, samplings, spin-offs and franchises…
It’s rare to discover a profound affinity with an organization—its artistic mission, its community, its artists and its values. But such was the case, I happily found, here at PlayMakers from the first time I stepped off the plane at RDU.
The “brutally hilarious” Seminar has critics and audiences alike raving about this “bitingly funny” show.
Join PlayMakers for a post-show discussion with UNC Creative Writing faculty Daniel Wallace and Randall Kenan this Sunday, Oct 25 following the 2pm matinee performance of Seminar.
In our last post, PlayMakers resident costume designer Jade Bettin (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Metamorphoses, Clybourne Park, Mary’s Wedding) described the influences that inspired her in creating clothes for Leonard and the young writers-in-progress in Seminar. Now take a look at some of Jade’s sketches for her New York-inspired designs paired with snapshots of how they “come to life” in the production onstage.
When approaching the costume design for a play set in modern day New York City, it might seem surprising that it was the words of an ancient Greek man that would catch my attention and so perfectly capture the sentiment I was aiming for: “Know first who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly” (Epicetus 44-135 AD). Of course this has resonance because it applies just as much to the way we approach dress today as it did then.
Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar, with its conversation surrounding mentorship and education is, in many ways, the perfect play for production by a theatre company like PlayMakers located on a university campus. That conversation is even more relevant when it quickly becomes clear that the seminar in question is concerned with creative writing, a discipline with a long strong history on the UNC campus. The South is a region known for the strength of its fiction writers, many nurtured by programs like ours here in Chapel Hill.
In Seminar, Ray Dooley plays the ruthless and frank character of Leonard, a writer/editor who conducts private seminars with young writers looking for both expert criticism and connections to the field of publishing.
Michael Dove, founding Artistic Director of Forum Theatre in Washington, DC and winner of three Helen Hayes Awards, makes his PlayMakers debut directing Seminar. Michael says, “the thing I most often find myself thinking about in rehearsals for this play is how painfully difficult it is to know yourself.”