Fall play begins Friday

Austin Simpson
Morton High School's fall play “Arsenic and Old Lace" begins Friday.

When Liz Rebmann, a Morton High School English teacher, chose the fall play for MHS this year, she had comedy in mind.

“I decided it was time to try a comedy,” said Rebmann of her decision to stage “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Another reason for choosing this show was the name recognition.

“This is a very popular classic comedy for the stage,” said Rebmann. She has received many calls and e-mails from local residents who remembered seeing or even acting in the show in days gone by.

“Arsenic and Old Lace,” written by playwright Joseph Kesselring in 1939, tells the tale of the Brewster family. According to Rebmann, the story concerns the three Brewster brothers: Mortimer, the normal brother; Teddy, the crazy brother who believes himself to be Teddy Roosevelt; and Jonathan, the evil brother who has recently escaped from prison. The three brothers are played by junior Jacob Brisbin, senior Sam Badgerow, and sophomore Zach Witzig respectively.

The play takes place in the home where the brothers were raised by their old aunts, Abby (played by senior Jillian Risinger) and Martha (played by junior Leah Roth).

However, as audience members will find out, Abby and Martha may not be as sweet and innocent as they seem, says Rebmann.

According to Rebmann, the show has lasting appeal because “we all enjoy being surprised that exteriors are not always the same as interiors.” Rebmann also credits the show’s humor and good writing as factors in its lasting appeal.

The cast of 17 consists of a wide variety of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Many are newcomers to the Bertha Frank stage.

“It’s going to be a new, younger cast,” said Rebmann. “We have a lot of talented students in the spotlight for the first time.”

Rebmann believes in spreading the parts between the talent located in each of the classes. “That’s the only way you build a program,” she said.

“Arsenic and Old Lace” will be performed  in the Bertha Frank Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $5 for adults and $3 for students. They will be available at the door.