The student news site of Colonia High School

The Declaration

  • 1st Marking period report card grades will be available by 8am Wednesday morning

  • The next SAT test date is December 2

  • Colonia Holiday Tree Lighting is on Decmber 1st at 6 p.m.

  • No School November 23rd & 24th Happy Thanks Giving!

  • Colonia High will Have a Half day on Wednesday November 22

  • Come out to support the Winter Concert/Arts Festival on December 7th at 7:00pm

Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

Hanging on the wall the Arsenic and Old Lace poster urges student to come out and see the show.

Photo Credit: Frankie Brock

Hanging on the wall the Arsenic and Old Lace poster urges student to come out and see the show.

By: Frankie Brock, Fall Editor and Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Coming to the Colonia High School Auditorium November 17-19 is the hysterical dark comedy Arsenic and Old Lace.  The play was written by American playwright Joseph Kesselring, written in 1939, making its debut performance at Colonia High School in 1967. 

Arsenic and Old Lace was the first show to ever be performed at Colonia High School over 50 years ago. The performance has been loved throughout the decades by a wide range of audiences. Because of the shows humor and ability to create laughter, it is considered a timeless comedic production.

Synopsis 

The show is to be set in the living room of the Brewster home in Brooklyn, New York throughout the 1940s. The storyline revolves around the characters Mortimer, Abby, and Martha Brewster. Mortimer Brewster is living a happy life: he has a steady job at a prominent New York newspaper, he’s just become engaged, and he gets to visit his sweet spinster aunts to announce the engagement.

Mortimer always knew that his family had a bit of a mad gene. His brother believes himself to be Teddy Roosevelt and his great-grandfather used to scalp Indians for pleasure. But his world is turned upside down. He suddenly realizes that his dear aunts have been poisoning lonely old men for years! Martha and Abby use their charm to persuade lonely old men to drink with them. What their guests don’t know, is the fact that their drinks have been laced with arsenic. 

The title Arsenic and Old Lace is supposed to ironically represent elderly ladies as in old lace and death through the means of arsenic.

Colonia High Adaptation

The cast for the Colonia performance of Arsenic and Old Lace includes Ryan Cambell (Mortimer Brewster), Amanda Kavaija (Martha Brewster), Sarah Gregory (Abby Brewster), Anthony Piccininni (Teddy Brewster), Kelly Branco (Elaine Harper), and Kurt Jackson (Jonathan Brewster).

The students involved in the performance have become connected to not only their characters but all aspects of the play.

Anthony Picininni believes the message of the play is that “even though the crazy aunts kill people, you still need family no matter how dysfunctional.” Another comment made on the message of the play includes Ryan Cambell’s statement “To embrace your true self. Whether you’re a manic theatre critic a crazy old aunt or a man who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt. Just be you. Everyone can find their place in this world.”

The cast has worked extremely hard to prepare for their roles and they are excited for the audience to see their take on their characters. Amanda Kavaja explains which scene she thinks the audience will enjoy the most. “I look forward to the audience seeing the scene where Martha and Abby explain their process of murdering people to their favorite nephew Mortimer. Soon after we try to kill Mr. Gibbs in front of Mortimer. These are the most fun scenes to me because they are really comical. They show the audience that the Brewsters are anything but innocent.”

The audience will be able to pick their favorite characters and scenes at the show’s conclusion. But the cast has their favorite parts as well. “My favorite part is when my character first sees the body. He’s in such disbelief and as he hears his aunts explain that they are the ones who killed the man my character gets more and more wrapped in this disbelief,” explains Ryan Cambell.

Arsenic and Old Lace then and now

In 1967 some students involved in the fall play include Christine Corallo, Maria Ciardiello, Ann Cahill, Denise Danko, Robert Hess, and Jeffrey Horner. These members were involved in all aspects of the performance, just as Colonia students are today.

The students explain their emotions toward recreating the first ever  Colonia High School production.Ryan Cambell expressed”It actually feels quite amazing. It’s an honor to be able to take on a character that was just as funny then as it is now. It makes me really think about how different the times were back then. How the characters might be played differently. Most importantly how this new world could possibly change them. Theatre is an ever-evolving art.”
Also touched by this amazing opportunity Amanda Kavaja includes “I feel honored to be redoing the first play ever at Colonia high school and I think that it’s really cool that 50 years ago on this stage there where different people showing the same story.”

 Opening Night

The cast is looking forward to the November 17 performance of Arsenic and Old lace almost as much as the audience. Describing opening night Ryan Campell exclaims “Exhilarating!” After a breath, he continued “There is no other word that can describe it. As I’m backstage before I go on I’m usually a mess. I can’t speak My stomach is in knots I can’t breathe. But once I’m on stage. Once I utter my first line. I’m no longer Ryan Campbell. I become my character and all my problems all my doubts fade away. And I get lost in the story. It truly is the best feeling I have ever experienced.”
Everyone please come out and Support the Colonia High School Production of Arsenic and Old Lace. Don’t miss it on November 17 and 18 at 7:00 p.m., and 19 at 2:00 p.m. in the Colonia Highschool auditorium.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

The Declaration reserved the rights to not publish comments that are offensive, are hurtful, are in bad taste, are not constructive, or are spam.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

    Showcase

    First Hand in Hand Dance of the school year unites disabled adults and students

  • Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

    Showcase

    Juniors win 2017 spirit week

  • Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

    Showcase

    Colonia, New Jersey: How the town acquired its unusual name

  • Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

    Showcase

    Computer games should be used in class instruction

  • Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

    Showcase

    A simple guide for surviving Freshmen year

  • Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

    Showcase

    Life of CHS graduate and singer Mike Schiavo

  • Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

    Showcase

    Several Colonia seniors prepare for Ivy League universities

  • Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

    Showcase

    McCauley hosts Fusion Night 2017

  • Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

    Showcase

    Get Caught up on “Gypsy”

  • Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy

    Showcase

    Woodbridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2017

The student news site of Colonia High School
Arsenic and Old Lace is a killer comedy