Friday, October 24, 2014

SEMINAR Reveals the Dreams and Nightmares of Writers

For those who have ever wanted to write a book, manuscript or movie, the process of creating, writing and perfecting a written work can be an exercise in emotional mayhem. SEMINAR delves into the trials and tribulations of four novelists that sign up for a class designed to help them in their writing endeavors.

Best-selling author of memoir The Accidental Caregiver, Gregor Collins was once in the same boat as Seminar’s group of passionate would-be novelists. Collins stated, “When this book occurred to me there was immediate resistance and doubts: I’d convince myself I wasn’t an author and that it was something ‘other’ more gifted people did, as if being an author was some hallowed ground or a club I would never be invited to.” The book chronicles Collins’ time as a caregiver for Maria Altmann, a remarkable woman nearly three times his age who became revered in the art world. As Collins worked to get his book written, he encountered just about every emotion imaginable and may have even created a few new ones in the process.

“Once I realized I was basically piecing together a 350-page love letter to Maria and our relationship, and that no one could ever delete it and it would be around forever, the floodgates opened. I now had a responsibility to write the book. I owed it to love, to art, to the elderly/caregiving community and to myself. So I went home at night after a shift and would laugh and cry as I wrote it,” explained Collins. His best-selling novel is now in the process of being turned into a play for the stage in New York City. Let the next roller coaster of emotional highs and lows begin…

Seminar functions very much on reality competition show logic,” director Ron May said. “Throw a handful of clashing personalities together in a situation where they’re all in the same room vying for the same thing; mix in an even more ruthless, more articulate Simon Cowell; marinate in a bit of sexual tension and serve up the contact sport.”

Seminar is a provocative comedy from Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Rebeck – the first of three women playwrights Actors Theatre will feature during the season – and will run from Oct. 24 to Nov. 9 at the Helen K. Mason Theatre at Black Theatre Troupe, 1333 E. Washington St. in downtown Phoenix.

The story revolves around Leonard (David Barker), a celebrity writer who fell from grace offering private writing lessons to up-and-comers. Four aspiring young novelists – Douglas (Andy Cahoon), Martin (Will Hightower), Kate (Kerry McCue) and Izzy (Kim Richard) sign up for the class. Under Leonard’s recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmoored. Season-ticket packages ranging from $108-$170. All tickets can be purchased online at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The show sounds great! Can't wait to see it and I'll stop over at Amazon and check out The Accidental Caregiver book, too!