Brighton Beach Memoirs: Behind the scenes with freshman players

Understudy(ing): Daniel Greenberg'14 prepares as an understudy for lead actor Ryan Shea'13 | Photo by Meghan Prior'11

Pretending to be a mischievous 13 year-old girl with a slight heart murmur, living with her aunt and cousins after the death of her father is just another day at the office for Kelly Gore ’14.

Rehearsals each day after school will prepare Gore and the two other freshmen, Daniel Greenberg ’14 and Emily Ressler ’14 for Staples Players upcoming production of “Brighton Beach Memoirs” by Neil Simon.

While unlike anything these young stars have done before, this comedic play should be the stepping-stone in their high school acting careers.

Double casted as Laurie, a lead role in the show, Gore and Ressler are a little intimidated — as they are only two of three other freshman in the 11 person production — but are excited to start working.

For years, these two have looked up to senior Players such as Eva Hendricks ’11 and Max Samuels ’11, hoping that one day they would be acting on stage with them.

“I am a little intimidated being a freshman in a Players show, but that’s only because I will be working with people that I have been a fan of since middle school,” Gore said.

Being double casted may upset or frustrate some, but Gore and Ressler are ecstatic to even have the opportunity to be casted as freshman and are ready to learn and take in all that Players has to offer.

“I auditioned just to show my dedication to Players, and even when I got a callback for a role I was totally shocked,” Ressler said. “I have seen Players shows my entire life and the idea that I would actually be playing a role in one, especially as a freshman, was completely surreal,”

Not only do these freshmen have to get acclimated to being apart of the Players family, they will also be learning how to turn on their New York accents, as that is where the show takes place.

Similarly to Gore and Ressler, Daniel Greenberg ’14 will be studying and perfecting his part as Eugene Jerome behind Ryan Shea ’13.

When asked about being casted as an understudy, Greenberg was happy.

“Although I didn’t get the part, I knew I would be working with some really cool, experienced actors,” Greenberg said. “Even if I don’t get to perform in a single show, I know I will love this experience and will learn so much about acting.”

Greenberg said that being the understudy is not much different than actually being cast.

During rehearsals he will need to learn all the same lines and blocks as Shea and be ready to perform if need be

“It will be a fun challenge for me to try to be as prepared as I can be,” Greenberg said. “I have never been an understudy before, so learning how to find ways to be ready ‘just in case’ is something I look forward to experiencing.”

In the upcoming months, Gore, Ressler and Greenberg will team up in order to prove themselves in the Players community.

“I can’t wait to really get started. We have an amazing cast, and I hope everyone gets the chance to see the show,” said Greenberg ’14.