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Auditions – “Arsenic and Old Lace” at Studio Playhouse in Upper Montclair
March 30, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pmFree
Auditions: ARSENIC & OLD LACE
Dates: March 30th at 7:00pm and March 31st at 7:00pm
Director Sue Mandzik Davis
Arsenic and Old Lace is a farcical black comedy that tells the story of two charming and gentle old ladies in Brooklyn, NY who poison poor, elderly gentlemen in order to save them from the sorrows of the world. Their nephew, Mortimer Brewster, a drama critic, learns of his aunts’ actions and his family’s insanity. He then must decide whether to go through with his recent promise to marry the woman he loves. His brother Teddy believes he is Teddy Roosevelt, charging up the stairs and digging locks for the Panama Canal in the basement.
Mortimer’s older brother Jonathan also returns home after many years with his accomplice, Dr. Einstein, whose
plastic surgery is keeping Jonathan’s identity secret from the international police forces that are in search of them for
their own serial killing sprees. The play follows Mortimer as he tries to protect his aunts and prevent them from continuing their mission of mercy, while avoiding becoming Jonathan’s next victim! A lively comic masterpiece.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
(The roles of Rev. Harper/Witherspoon and Mr. Gibbs/Lt. Rooney may be double cast.)
Mortimer Brewster (Male, 25 to 30s) The charming, intelligent, cynical nephew of Abby and Martha, he is a Manhattan drama critic who finds he is actually living in the middle of an insane family. He becomes engaged to Elaine and must come face to face with his maniac brother, Jonathon. Must have strong physical comedy skills and a good sense of comic timing.
Elaine Harper (Female, 20′s) Mortimer’s sweet, independent girlfriend who remains fairly oblivious (and therefore confused) throughout. Not your typical pastor’s daughter; knows her way around the choir loft. A fairly small yet significant role.
Abby Brewster (Female, 60+) A darling lady with Victorian manners and values who believes murdering lonely old men to be an act of charity. The aunts are played as sweet old ladies who are genuinely oblivious to the horrors they are committing. Need to be highly likeable despite being serial killers!
Martha Brewster (Female, 60+) A sweet, elderly, yet also insane woman with Victorian charm who serves as Abby’s partner in crime.
Jonathon Brewster (Male, 40+) Mortimer’s evil, murderous brother, who, because of numerous plastic surgeries, bears a striking resemblance to Boris Karloff. Must be physically imposing – as written he bears a resemblance to Frankenstein’s monster, but simply needs to exude evil from the outset. Calculating and cold.
Dr. Einstein (Male, 40+) Jonathon’s partner in crime, a plastic surgeon somewhat ratty in appearance, living in a pleasant haze of alcohol. Quirky; an underworld plastic surgeon whose nerves are on the edge and who has got himself in over his head. Written with a German accent.
Teddy Brewster (Male, 40′s) The kindhearted brother to Mortimer and Jonathon who is openly insane and believes himself to be Theodore Roosevelt. Lots of comedy business and selfimportance, and needs the agility to charge up stairs a lot! Bugle playing a plus.
Officer O’Hara (Male, mid 20s+) The determined police officer who is also an aspiring playwright who pesters Mortimer to read his play. Requires a good comedy rapport with Mortimer. Must have good timing-he is pulled away from the action repeatedly so he won’t figure out what’s going on.
Officer Brophy and Officer Klein (Male, 18+) Brooklyn patrol cops who make their rounds collecting Christmas toys, and keep appearing to investigate complaints from neighbors about Teddy’s incessant bugle blowing. They aid Mortimer in his fight against Jonathon.
Lieutenant Rooney (Male, 30+) A tough New York cop, the precinct boss who aids Mortimer in his fight against Jonathon. May double with Dr. Harper.
Mr. Gibbs (Male, 50+) A grumpy little old man who nearly falls victim to the aunts’ charity. May double with Mr. Witherspoon.
Reverend Dr. Harper (Male, 50′s+) Father to Elaine, the minister who runs the church next door to the Brewster house. Disapproves of Mortimer due to his links with the theatre. May double with Lt. Rooney.
Mr. Witherspoon (Male, 40+) The fastidious caretaker of Happy Dale Sanitarium. May double with Mr. Gibbs.
Performances June 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20
Side will provided and can be viewed at https://studioplayhouse.org/auditions-arsenic-and-oldlace/
14 Alvin Place, Upper Montclair ~ 973-744-9752 ~ www.studioplayhouse.org