042018 ARTS esu theater photo

Courtesy PhotoCary Grant, Josephine Hull and Jean Adair in a scene from the film version of "Arsenic and Old Lace." A wacky thriller, the play runs through April 28 at Emporia State University.

The final production of Emporia State University Theatre’s spring season is Joseph Kesselring’s 1940 farcical black comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

Featuring homicidal old women, a man who thinks he is Theodore Roosevelt and a drama critic trying to get married, the show is a classic example of the comedy that stems from a normal person attempting to survive in a world of absurd circumstances.

Jim Bartruff is directing the production and is thrilled to bring a classic comedy to the stage.

“We live a time when news headlines shock or challenge us every day,” Bartruff said. “'Arsenic and Old Lace' does not take life so seriously. The play celebrates our many flaws but remains popular because of its outrageous charm and the essential humanity of its characters.”

The absurd and dark humor of the show is written to evoke contagious laughter from audiences. The set is designed by Nancy Pontius with costumes by Amanda Dura. Student Matt Mahr is the lighting designer. Technical Director Chris Lohkamp is also in the cast at Teddy Brewster.

The “Arsenic and Old Lace” acting company also includes Miranda Kimble, Tim Hardman, Evan Grantham, Emily Rayson, Rachel Muirhead, Sydney Main, Andrew Ralston, Ben Johnson, Dustin Bittel, Hewleek McKoy, Cameron Webb, Stephen Holbert and Lucas Coble.

Special guests will be featured as “victims” of the Brewster sisters when “Arsenic and Old Lace” plays in the Karl C. Bruder Theatre in King Hall from April 25 - 28. Curtain time for each of the four performances is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students and are available from the University Ticket Office at tickets.emporia.edu or by calling 341-6378.

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