So my parents tell me they never know what to get me for Christmas and this year was apparently the most difficult. I was intending to see the play “Seminar” with some friends earlier in the year, but the plan went awry when some stuff was planned out of sync. Well, apparently my mom liked the idea of me going to see a play and looked into it. She found it interesting and bought us two tickets to see it the day after Christmas and gave me the ticket for Christmas. I was shocked but happy she got them. So, now for a review of “Seminar.”
I was a theatre person at one time, but that has since come and gone. I feel like every little kid wants to be an actor at some point in life. I tried out some theatre classes for kids when I was in elementary school, but quickly found I sucked at acting, which is okay with me. Anyway, I’m not really into theatre anymore, but “Seminar” is about writing seminars, which I have taken many of and can definitely sit down for a laugh about.
In the play, Alan Rickman plays Leonard, a fiction writing professor who charges $5,000 for students to take his once-a-week writing seminar, and lives to trash his student’s writing. Though his comments are rude and seem to be illegal to say in a classroom setting, he offers the students an incredible lesson on the inside. The character reminded me very much of the Crazy Writer from Hell, my high school creative writing teacher, who did trash students work, but had so much more to offer students if they just took the time to listen to her. That is exactly what happens with Leonard and his students in the play. Once the students finally set aside their dislike for Leonard, they open a variety of writing opportunities for themselves. One finally writes a new piece. One finally shows thousands of pages he’s been hiding in his writing desk. One exhibits his skills as a talented writer nobody knew about. They also have to cope with their differences as people and sort out their own personal dramas to achieve what they want most: to be good writers.
My favorite part about the play was that the air about the characters was consistently snappy and sometimes even hostile, especially when Leonard was in the scene, but they all came to appreciate Leonard and each other in the end. Although they never admit it, they all appreciate Leonard in the end. If you ask me, “Seminar” isn’t just about writing; it’s a comedic portrayal of life’s hardships and what you have to do to get through them, from taking shit to opening up to your peers. I highly recommend anyone, writer or non-writer, to see Alan Rickman in “Seminar.”