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BRCT, ASU announce 'Arsenic' cast

Article Published: Jun. 16, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
BRCT, ASU announce 'Arsenic' cast

Frank Capra's 1944 film, 'Arsenic and Old Lace,' is based on the play by Joseph Kesselring. Blue Ridge Community Theatre and Appalachian State University present their own production Aug. 9, 10 and 11.

In their first ever collaboration, the Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance and Blue Ridge Community Theatre (BRCT), Boone's only community theater, have teamed up to present a production of the classic comedy," Arsenic and Old Lace."

The show, written by Joseph Kesselring, opened in 1941 and is celebrating its 70th year of murder and mayhem.

Also made into a film, this play has remained a favorite for several generations of theater patrons.
The show will be done completely in front of the curtain at ASU's Valborg Theatre on Aug. 9, 10, and 11. A special treat for theater buffs will be an open rehearsal for the public to watch on July 21, as part of An Appalachian Summer Festival.

Sue Williams and Anna Ward, both faculty members at ASU, will play the charmingly insane sisters, Abby and Martha Brewster. Ward has also directed several shows for BRCT.

Frank Mohler, professor emeritus of theater history, will play the part of Dr. Harper.

Joe Watson, Ryan Sheehe and Will Gwyn will have the roles of the friendly, but not too observant, police officers. Victor Rivera will transform into alcoholic surgeon Dr. Einstein.

All four of these actors are theater majors at ASU.

Tommy Brown, a veteran of BRCT, will have the role of Teddy Brewster, a loveable fool who truly believes he is Teddy Roosevelt.

The part of Elaine Harper, a beautiful and intelligent newlywed, will be performed by Jenny Kotowski, a recent graduate of ASU.

Jeremiah Miller is new to the area and is making his BRCT debut as dapper drama critic Mortimer Brewster, role Cary Grant made famous in the 1944 film version.

Two seasoned actors from the former Blowing Rock Stage Company will join the cast. Mark Suggs will play the sinister Brewster nephew, Jonathan, and Chandler Walpole will play no-nonsense police officer Lt. Rooney.

Charles Wilkes and Jonathan Stewart round out the cast as the unfortunate dead bodies. Although they do not have any lines to memorize, producers said, "It takes a lot of talent to play dead."

The production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" will be directed by ASU's Derek Gagnier. Backstage crew includes Hannah Fuller (stage manager), Carlyn Holland (assistant director), Martha Marking (costume design), John Marty (lighting), Mike Helms (set design) and Neil Rada (tech director). BRCT will help with production and advertising.

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