About the Playwright: Theresa Rebeck

Theresa Rebeck is an award-winning playwright, novelist and television writer whose work has been staged across the world.

This March, Beaumaris Theatre is delighted to be staging her sharp and witty play, Seminar.

The most Broadway-produced female playwright of our time, Rebeck’s most notable work include Broadway productions of Downstairs, Dead Accounts and Mauritius, as well as numerous plays staged at Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop and Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Rebeck co-authored the Pulitzer Prize nominated play Omnium Gatherum and her play What We’re Up Against was recently revived against the backdrop of the #timesup movement.

With “a keen ear for snappy dialogue, and a firm hand at shaping character conflicts”*, Rebeck is also an author and television writer and creator of the NBC drama Smash.

According to Rebeck, the common themes that unit her work are “betrayal and treason and poor behaviour”.

“I’m actually interested in poor behavior. I’m interested in what drives people to poor behavior. I do believe that there are monsters out there, and that they are monsters.” – Theresa Rebeck**

The themes of betrayal, treason and poor behaviour are ever present in Seminar. Seminar opened on Broadway in 2011 at the John Golden Theatre, with Alan Rickman originating the role of Leonard, a former literary figure. The production was nominated for Best Play by the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama League.

“Seminar is 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.”*

In Seminar, four aspiring young novelists sign up for private writing classes with Leonard, an international literary figure. Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmourned. The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this biting comedy.

*’Seminar: Theatre Review” by David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter 2011
**‘An Acute Interest In Bad Behaviour’ by Robert Simonson, New York Times 2007