PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, continues its Mainstage Season with the scathingly funny comedy “Seminar” by Theresa Rebeck, Oct. 14-Nov. 1. Special events associated with the show begin Sept. 28.
“Seminar” is a story of blood, sweat and tears in the writer’s den. Four aspiring young writers ante up big bucks to learn from a legendary novelist, but their fiction and their egos will be unsparingly dissected before he’s through. Ferociously fun and fast-paced with sparkling wordplay, “Seminar” takes no prisoners.
The San Francisco Chronicle described the play as “furiously funny.” USA Today called it “consistently clever and entertaining” and The Hollywood Reporter said the “tart comedy” is “witty” with “a lip-smacking” lead role in the character of Leonard.
Longtime PlayMakers acting company member Ray Dooley will play Leonard, leading the no-holds-barred master class on power, sex and the nature of art. Dooley delighted audiences as Puck in last season’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and has appeared to acclaim as George in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and Salieri in “Amadeus,” among many other parts. His other “roles” as professor in the Department of Dramatic Art and head of the Professional Actor Training Program at UNC-Chapel Hill uniquely qualify him to play the mentor to young minds.
“Seminar” was written by the prolific playwright, novelist and TV veteran Theresa Rebeck. In addition to her work as writer/producer for “NYPD Blue” and “Law & Order,” she is known for creating NBC’s “Smash.” The Hollywood Reporter said that “training ground has given her a keen ear for snappy dialogue, and a firm hand at shaping character conflicts.” The New York Times called Rebeck “a canny craftswoman with a sensibility poised somewhere between that of Yasmina Reza (queen of the quick, smart comedy) andNeil Simon (the longest-reigning king of the New York-style one-liner).”
Performances of “Seminar” will take place in the Paul Green Theatre in the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road. Show times will be Tuesdays through Fridays, Sunday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays and Saturday, Oct. 31 at 2 p.m. There are no performances Oct. 17 or Oct. 24.
The production is directed by Helen Hayes Award-winner Michael Dove, Artistic Director of Forum Theatre in Washington, DC.
In conjunction with “Seminar,” PlayMakers will host “The Vision Series-Directors in Conversation,” a behind-the-scenes preview with Dove, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Paul Green Theatre. The event is free and open to the public. Participants share coffee and hors d’oeuvres provided by series sponsor Jujube Restaurant, learn about the vision for the show and get a sneak peek at the sets and costumes in progress. Reservations are appreciated. Call PlayMakers’ box office at 919.962.7529 to RSVP.

Other special events include:

  • Sept. 28, 7 p.m.: “In the Wings,” presented by PlayMakers and the Durham County Library. Cast and creative team members discuss the play at the Main Library, 300 N. Roxboro St., downtown Durham;
  • Oct. 5, 6 p.m.: a discussion with the director and cast at The Granary Café, Fearrington Village, Pittsboro;
  • Oct 14 and 15, 7:30 p.m.: preview performances;
  • Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m.: opening night performance;
  • Oct. 20: an all-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description;
  • Oct. 21 and 25: free post-show discussions with members of the creative team;
  • Oct. 31, 2 p.m.: open captioned performance;
  • Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 1, 2 p.m.: free post-show “Mindplay” discussions sponsored by the North Carolina Psychoanalytic Society.

Counter Culture Coffee is co-producing sponsor for “Seminar.”
Coverage note: Media are welcome to cover “The Vision Series” preview with director Michael Dove at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 7. Photography, videography, lights and flashes are not restricted. For assistance, call (919) 962-5359.
Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatre companies in America” by The Drama League. The theater will also present “Peter and the Starcatcher” (Nov. 18-Dec. 2); Anton Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” (Jan. 20-Feb.7); “We Are Proud to Present…” (Feb. 24-March 13); and Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical “Sweeney Todd” (March 30-April 23) during its 2015-2016 Mainstage Season.
For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit www.playmakersrep.org. Individual ticket prices start at $15. Tickets are also available as part of PlayMakers’ 2015-2016 subscription packages.
PlayMakers contact: For press information, interviews, photos and poster art, contact Connie Mahan, (919) 962-5359,cmahan@email.unc.edu.