by Dan Bellis, Seminar Assistant Director and Production Manager
I first became aware of Seminar when director, Kirsten Page pitched it to the Beaumaris Theatre Committee to be a part of its 2019 season. I was on the subcommittee responsible for reading through the submissions and made a point to be as informed about each submitted production as I could be. I found reviews, still images, YouTube clips starring the late, great Alan Rickman and, of course, the script.
This was where Seminar really popped. 71 pages of intelligent dialogue, brutal honesty and dark comedy had me immediately hooked. I knew that I had to be a part of this production, but I did fit into the necessary age brackets for these characters? So I said to myself, “Self, time for you to get off the stage and work this one from behind the scenes.” Good old self.
The Beaumaris Theatre Committee allowed me to make my debut as a Production Manager and a meeting with Kirsten led to her appointing me to my additional role as Assistant Director.
The transition from performer to producer has been a fascinating one to me. Where the role of the actor is usually limited to rehearsal and performance, I’ve had to be across many more aspects of production that I’ve not been familiar with in my past endeavours. I’ve been a recruiter of artists, a timetabler, a people-manager, a purchaser of small porcelain religious artefacts and more than once I’ve had to step into the role of a twenty-something woman onstage. I thought that I was busy before…
The process has been fantastically rewarding, I have developed my technical knowledge, used a circular saw and have had to be on the other side of those rejection phone calls (those last two are not related).
The transition has been made all the smoother by the wonderful people that I’ve been
working with. Our director, cast, stage manager, set designer and builders and the Committee have all pulled in the same direction to get Seminar where it needs to be.
Rehearsals have been an absolute joy, the cast are attacking the very challenging dialogue with great professionalism, and are yet to become frustrated (I hope) by my nit-picking about the specificity of the script. Our set is coming together beautifully, props and costumes are being sourced and we are getting closer to performance levels with each rehearsal.
Audiences for Seminar are certain not to be disappointed.