Tim Cimini has always been an athletic individual. Soccer and football are sports that he’s dabbled in throughout his life, while lacrosse was and still is his strong suit.
But if you would have told Cimini a couple of years ago that during his senior year of college, he would be the lead of the school’s play, he would have laughed in your face.
“I’ve never done anything like acting before,” said Cimini.
While Cimini didn’t see himself participating in SC’s theater in any capacity, he did see himself coming to Springfield to play lacrosse.
“I’ve had some coaches throughout my life go here and I played for Coach [Keith] Bugbee in the past.”
Cimini, who has played lacrosse since the fourth grade, also wanted a place that was close to his West Hartford home so his mom could attend as many games as possible.
“My four years [here] she’s missed two games,” said Cimini. “One of them I wasn’t even at and the other was in Middlebury, and there was terrible weather. She got half way through the drive and just couldn’t make it.”
The defender has been very successful throughout his collegiate career. While here at SC, Cimini was selected to the Pilgrim Lacrosse League All-Conference First Team his junior year. Just this past summer, he was also named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Men’s Lacrosse New England All-Star First Team.
Last year, Cimini led SC with 22 caused turnovers and picked up a total of 34 ground balls.
While Cimini is looking forward to shining in his final year of lacrosse starting in the spring, he also will be shining in a different light starting tonight.
During spring semester last year, Cimini signed up to take an Introduction to Theatre class to gain his Visual and Performing Arts credit.
“It was a level 100 course and I figured it wouldn’t be all that much work,” said Cimini with a chuckle.
Cimini, who hasn’t had much experience on stage, actually ended up really enjoying the class.
“The first half an hour we spent stretching, which I thought was really cool. I enjoyed it. I had fun with it.”
After completing his Introduction to Theatre course, Cimini thought that would be the end of his acting career. Little did he know that Martin Shell, associate professor of theater arts and the director of SC Theater’s productions, had a different idea for Cimini.
Earlier this semester, Cimini got an email from Shell with an interesting request.
“I saw the name and I said, ‘Martin Shell? Why on earth would he be emailing me?’”
After reading the email, Cimini discovered that Shell wanted him to audition for the fall semester’s SC Theater production, “Born Yesterday.”
“I figured he went through the trouble of emailing me, so I should check it out.”
With that, Cimini tried out for his first play ever and landed the lead role. The lacrosse all-star had now completely switched roles.
When Cimini told his roommates and teammates that he got the lead role, he got nothing but support and many congratulations.
“I was kind of prepared to get a little ribbing, but all my friends and teammates thought it was awesome.”
Once Cimini landed the role of Harry Brock, a corrupt junkyard man, the hard work began.
While remembering lines hasn’t been too difficult for Cimini, balancing the show, his class work and lacrosse was the most interesting element.
“I didn’t think I could do it. It was a big-time commitment,” Cimini said.
When Cimini was first cast in the show, men’s lacrosse was participating in fall ball. Fall ball consists of practice three times a week and a separate team-lifting session three times a week. Once fall ball ended, then the captain-run practices began.
Cimini, who was named defensive captain this year, had a hard time balancing it, but ended up making it all work in the end.
“Last week and this week, I haven’t been able to attend [the captain-run] practices,” Cimini said. “The coaches and the rest of the team have been very understanding.”
With all the hard work that Cimini has put in to remembering his lines and attending rehearsals, the big debut of Born Yesterday will be tonight at 8 p.m.
“I’m not really nervous,” Cimini said casually. “I guess I’m just kind of used to it because of lacrosse. It’s basically kind of just like another game for me. You prepare in similar ways. [You] make sure you’re ready to go on game day. I can’t waste my time being nervous.”
A reason Cimini isn’t nervous is due to the major crowd coming out to see him perform. While his friends and teammates are coming, so is his number one fan, his mom, along with her entire side of the family.
“My aunt’s actually driving down from Rochester,” he added.
While Cimini has had a wonderful time participating in Born Yesterday, after this semester, his acting career will officially be over.
“I don’t think it would really be possible in the spring because lacrosse will be in full swing,” Cimini said. “I’m almost a little regretful I can’t do it next semester, but I think part of the fun has been [because] I’ve never done this before. It’s been all new. I’ve had a blast with it.”
Cimini and the rest of the cast and crew debut “Born Yesterday” tonight at 8 p.m. in the Fuller Arts Center. The show will also have 8 p.m. showings on Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.
Gabby DeMarchi may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org