With a diverse yet united cast, “Born Yesterday” has all the elements to be a good one for Martin Shell’s SC Theater.
The cast of 11 has been working hard for several weeks.
Before the weeks of preparation and rehearsals began, it all started with an email.
“I have no background in acting,” lead of the show, Tim Cimini, said with a smirk.
Cimini, who this summer was named an ECAC New England Men’s Lacrosse First Team All-Star, had no idea what he was getting himself into.
Cimini took an acting class last semester with Associate Professor of Theater Arts and the director of SC Theater productions, Martin Shell. Shell thought Cimini did well in the course, so when it was time to prepare for this semester’s production, Shell emailed Cimini telling him he should audition.
“I figured it had to be something small because there is no way [Shell] would want me to have a lot of lines,” Cimini said. “I came in, did a reading and got the part. I was a little shell-shocked, naturally.”
That is how Harry Brock was born.
“I’m a junkyard man. I’m trying to bribe my way into power,” said Cimini of his character.
The play, which premiered on Broadway in 1946, is set in Washington, D.C., where Brock brings his mistress, Billie Dawn (played by Abbie-Jean Esbjerg), to do some shady money deals with wealthy senators.
While in D.C., Brock hires journalist Paul Verrall (played by Billy DeVito) to help educate Billie Dawn.
“I’m really empty-headed and embarrass [Brock] all the time,” Esbjerg said of her character. “[Brock] hires Paul to teach me things, and then I end up getting smarter than them all.”
The hire of Verrall is exactly what Dawn needed, but Brock had no idea it would backfire on him.
“I take myself seriously a lot of the time. I’m a very passionate individual. I believe in certain values in life, especially in the economic world,” said DeVito of his character. “You would see my character occupy Wall Street.”
While Verrall continues to smarten up Dawn, Brock proceeds with his shady business deals with a little help from his cousin, Eddie.
“I’m Harry’s little gopher,” Elena Gasparri said of her character, who Shell re-wrote for a girl to play. “You’ll see me running around back and forth getting yelled at. I have more stage directions than I do lines. I’m kind of meant to keep the energy in the scenes.”
While learning their lines and figuring out stage directions have been the main issues on their minds, the cast and crew have also realized that the message this play was trying to get across in 1946 relates greatly to what is going on today.
“I think a really cool thing to know about [the play] is that the issues [in the show] have not gone away. It’s not even one party or another party’s problem; it’s the government’s problem. We’re seeing that today,” said Gasparri.
While the show does have some deep underlying messages, it is most importantly funny, witty and entertaining.
“It’s a fun play. It’s a comedy. It’s good to have fun with it,” said Shell.
The cast and crew have been having a lot of fun with each other and look forward to debuting their show.
“We’re excited to show it off,” Esbjerg said excitedly.
The premiere of SC’s rendition of “Born Yesterday” will happen on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 8 p.m. The play 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