The Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre of Cape Cod has a good sense of timing. At a time when the papers are filled with stories of corporate crime and balance sheet fraud, the company is opening Professional Skepticism, a new play set in a Big Five accounting firm.
The work, by James Rasheed, opens at WHAT July 3 and runs through July 27. Jason Slavick directs a cast including Marianna Basham, Chris Faith, Robert Pemberton and Yaegel Welch.
The cheeky WHAT press release describes the plot thusly: "The play takes a timely look at the 'lay' (as in Kenneth Lay) of the land behind the scenes of a Big Five accounting firm. Rasheed used his skill (as in Jeffrey Skilling) as a licensed CPA to write a hysterically funny and amusing dramatic work—more than a year before the Enron mess."
Lay and Skilling were top executives at the once-mighty energy concern, Enron, which is currently facing vast criminal inquiries about its allegedly deceptive accounting practices. Since the disclosure of Enron's improprieties, which left hundreds of employees and investors penniless, several other corporate giants have toppled, the most recent being WorldCom.
Rasheed recently graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in playwriting. Before that he was an accountant at a so called Big Five accounting firm (the fallen Arthur Anderson was one of that mighty quintet). *
The rest of the season runs as follows:
- Fully Committed by Becky Mode, with Joe Smith, directed by Suzanne Bryan (June 28-Aug. 27)
- The New England premiere of David Rabe's The Dog Problem, with Damian Baldet, Michael Dorval, Tom Kee, Barry Magnani, Marc Weiss, directed by Jeff Zinn (Aug. 2 Sept. 1)
- Driving on the Sidewalk by Jesse Kellerman, with Robert Kropf, Ray McDavitt, McNeeley Myers, Allison Weller, directed by Jeff Zinn (Sept. 6-21)
- The U.S premiere of One Night in the Life of Denise Ivanovich by Kevin Rice, with Denise Cormier, Kippy Goldfarb, Stephen Russell, Charles Weinstein, director TBA (Sept. 26-Oct. 13).
WHAT was founded in 1985 and has built a reputation for offering a combination of edgy dramas and loopy comedies to the surrounding collection of small seaside villages. Past productions include Mac Wellman's Seven Blowjobs, Russell Lees' Nixon's Nixon, Christopher Durang's Betty's Summer Vacation, Tracy Letts' Killer Joe and Martin McDonagh's Beauty Queen of Leenane starring Julie Harris.
Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre is located on Mayo Beach next to the Wellfleet Town Pier, in Wellfleet, MA. For information, call (508) 349-6835.
— By Robert Simonson