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Bare Bones Theater's SEMINAR Opens Today

Long Island Premiere of "Seminar" at Bare Bones Theater, Opens today, March 3 Bare Bones Theater presents the Long Island premiere of "Seminar," a comedy by Pulitzer Prize finalist Theresa Rebeck, on March 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 20 at 8:00 with matinees on Sundays March 13 and 20 at 3:00 p.m. at Bare Bones Theater, 57 Main St., Northport. Tickets are $25 or 800-838-3006.

The production is directed by Lynn Antunovich, with Associate Director Caitlin Esposito, and Producer Justine Waker. The cast features Neil Brown, Gabrielle Georgescu, Derek McLaughlin, Vianna Nater and Tim Thieke.

In "Seminar," four New York fiction writers pool their resources to hire a private tutor, the esteemed and charismatic, but now burnt-out Leonard, to coach them to improve their work and, more crucially, perhaps to mentor them to further their careers. 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 unmoored. The witty wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious, as innocence collides with experience. "Seminar" opened on Broadway in 2011. Rebeck's play Omnium Gatherum, co-authored with Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, was one of three finalists for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Director Lynn Antunovich says, "I was drawn to the play because I was fascinated by these intellectual characters, with an amazing command of language, struggling to communicate with each other." The typified seminar students are-the beautiful and cunning Izzy; the well-connected but limited Douglas; the class-angry Martin; and the exclusively schooled Manhattanite Kate. All tear themselves apart in a fever of envy, insecurity and intramural sexual desire. They act, as their loathsome teacher Leonard thoroughly enjoys, like feral cats in heat, as they yak on about the intersection of interiority and exteriority and other such gobbledygook that tries to pass as intellectual commentary. Like workers without a union, they have no common bond as they fight their mutual enemy, all the while worried that this enemy may just turn out to be their own friend and supporter.

Leonard is humiliatingly dismissive and disengaged, self-involved, and acerbic to the point of abuse. His prejudices, particularly regarding women, infuriate the writers. Yet each aspiring writer needs something from Leonard-which, for most of the play, he intentionally insists on withholding. The students, each in their own way, also hold themselves back, from fear of criticism, rejection, failure, insecurity or the humbling awe that any struggling artist may experience in the presence of a Master.

The Bare Bones Theater Company, which offers acting classes, showcases and four full-length productions annually, was founded in 1999 by Jeff Bennett, who taught theater, English, vocal music and public speaking at Wantagh and Shoreham-Wading River High Schools. A Northport resident, Jeff Bennett is the author of the Secondary Stages: Revitalizing High School Theater (Heinemann 2001). More information about Bare Bones is available at

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