On November 20th I went to the Black Box theatre to see the play Seminar. It was a small production, and there were only five actors. Going into the play, I had no idea what to expect. I had heard the play was a bit raunchy, with explicit dialogue and provocative scenes. The play started out with four actors portraying college graduate writers. I loved how realistic the setting was; it really looked like somebody’s real apartment. The actors did very well portraying emotion, and every thing they did and said I could relate to.
At one point, a girl was eating real ice cream and complaining on the couch to her friend. I thought it was funny how every girl could relate to that scene. I also liked that the actor had no problem devouring ice cream on top of memorizing her lines and acting at the same time. I would find it hard not to focus on anything other than the delicious taste of the ice cream. The play was indeed explicit and provocative. Being an 18 year old, I definitely had no problem with that!
I think I can speak for all of the students who came out to watch the play. Something about how throwing in and “F bomb” can add so much more emotion and often times humor to a scene. I really enjoyed listening to them talk just like most young adults would. The playwright wasn’t holding back at all in the script, and I think that’s what made the play so captivating. The script was relatable and funny. There were some things that I didn’t like about the play. One of the characters portrayed a rebellious girl who wore dark clothes and heavy makeup.
She was the one who was hooking up with the professor and her friend. She kept blinking her eyes too much and moving her head to try to look as if she was being seductive. I understand that in order to portray a seductive character some of those gestures would work well. I think the actor over did it, and I found it distracting to watch her keep doing the robotic gestures even when she wasn’t in the limelight. I really liked the set design and how they changed the scene to the professor’s apartment in a creative way.
Since there are no curtains in the black box, it’s hard to be able to completely add new props and move furniture since everybody can see what you’re doing. The director did a great job deciding to turn off the lights, play music, and only have the colored lights on the white canvas in the back. The actors danced around and created a whole new set without the audience really knowing what was going on. When the lights turned back on, a whole new set was in place, and it accurately depicted a writing professor’s messy living room.
I loved this set a lot, with paper scattered about, and a little Buddha on his desk to resemble something he had gotten on his many adventures to different countries that he was always bragging about. By being in this class, I’ve started to notice the small details like that in a play that I would have never noticed before. When the professor poured a drink of Jack Daniels, it looked so real that I actually questioned whether or not it was fake. I had to ask one of my friends in theatre if the actor was actually drinking alcohol or not, which they chuckled at, due to the fact that is very illegal.
He then told me how actors have a whole lesson on making realistic props such as alcohol. They have all these combinations of non-alcoholic drinks that when put together look very real. The last thing I really liked about the play was how accurate the costumes were for the actors. The professor maintained a professional but casual look, that is, when he wasn’t walking around in his robe! I really liked Izzy’s costume too; it accurately depicted her character without going overboard.