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Theatre students to perform Arsenic and Old Lace

Theatre students to perform Arsenic and Old Lace

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The Lycoming College Theatre Department will perform Arsenic and Old Lace from April 10-13 in the Mary L. Welch Theatre. All performances will be at 8 p.m. The play is recommended for ages 12 and up.

This black comedy premiered on Broadway in 1941 and ran in New York for more than three years. Frank Capra directed the equally popular film adaptation that starred Cary Grant. The play centers on Mortimer Brewster, a drama critic from Brooklyn who is about to marry his lady love. Unfortunately, Brewster comes from a family with a long line of crazies.

All that stands in his way to happiness are two spinster aunts who have taken to murdering lonely old men. He also has to deal with his brothers, one of whom believes he is Theodore Roosevelt and digs locks for the Panama Canal in the cellar and the other murderous brother who has received plastic surgery to conceal his identity. Playwright Joseph Kesselring based his plot on real-life events that occurred in Windsor, Conn.

The performance is directed by Dr. Biliana Stoytcheva-Horissian, who is an adjunct professor in the theatre department.

“It is not surprising at all that the play has proved to be a favorite of audiences worldwide,” Stoytcheva-Horissian said. “Arsenic and Old Lace is a hilarious comedy full of practical jokes, black humor, improbable, exaggerated characters, unbelievable situations, and chase and screen scenes. Our production guarantees you one very exciting and entertaining night in the theatre.”

The cast includes Emily Early as Abby Brewster; Jeremy Chobot as the Rev. Dr. Harper and Mr. Witherspoon; Mackenzy LaFever as Teddy Brewster; Kahla Moon as Officer Brophy; Caitlin Buffum as Officer Klein; Taylor Granger as Martha Brewster; Sarah Beddingfield as Elaine Harper; Michael Sampsell as Mortimer Brewster; Chris Hoffman as Mr. Gibbs; Nathan Bahn as Jonathan Brewster; Hershey Millner as Dr. Herman Einstein; Rachel Herman as Officer O'Hara; and Hanna Eyler as Lieutenant Rooney.

Dinner and a show will be offered on Friday, April 12, in the College’s Jane Schultz Room, Wertz Student Center. Tickets for dinner and a show are $18 per person and advance reservations are required by calling 570-321-4048. Tickets for just the show are $10 per person and $8 for seniors and students.

Lycoming College is a four-year, residential liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. Its rigorous academic program, vibrant residential community and supportive faculty foster successful student outcomes. Lycoming offers 36 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Founded in 1812 and located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit

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