Arsenic and Old Lace: A Madison High School Production

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Maggie Salko, Matt Delavan, and Suzette Oleson star in the MHS Fall Drama

Max Haupt

Maggie Salko, Matt Delavan, and Suzette Oleson star in the MHS Fall Drama

The stage is set, the actors are ready, and the big opening night is almost here! Arsenic and Old Lace opens on November 16th and 17th at 7:00 pm and November 18th at 2:00pm in Madison High School’s auditorium. Tickets are $8 for students, and $10 for adults. They will be available for purchase at the door for all three shows.  

 

The Madison High School Fall Drama, Arsenic and Old Lace, is quickly approaching, and it is definitely not something that you will want to miss! Madison Dodger Online and MDTV joins together to talk to some of the amazing actors who rule the stage in this production, as well as take a deeper look into what really goes into a show like this. The cast is not large, but their considerable talent more than makes up for their small number.  

 

Arsenic and Old Lace is a dark comedy about two old ladies poisoning lonely old men because they think they’re doing them a favor. Their nephew who thinks he’s teddy Roosevelt buries the bodies in the cellar which he calls “Panama”. Their other nephew, Mortimer Brewster, a dramatic critic and engaged to their neighbor Elaine Harper, cannot believe it when he finds out his aunts have killed 12 men and does his best to cover it up until his other brother Jonathan and accomplice dr. Einstein do their best to plant the blame on the aunts for their past murders.

 

When talking to some of the cast members, all of them wanted the audience to know how much hard work really goes into a production. Senior Suzette Olesen tells that “each show isn’t put together in a day. It’s a long process and takes months of preparing but we all love it and hearing people laugh while we perform makes all the stress worth it.” The production started a while ago, just two weeks after the school year started. Since then, the cast practiced after school from 3:00 to 5:00 every Tuesday,Wednesday, and Thursday. But now that November has hit, they practice every day from 3:00 until 6:00, until opening night on November 16th.

 

While the cast and crew agree that being a part of the production is a big time commitment, members grow to be almost like a family to each other. Stage manager Matt DeLara says that’s his favorite part of it all: “The cast and crew – a lot of my friends are in this show, and it’s always fun to be doing a show with them.”

 

Arsenic and Old Lace is not always an easy show, as it presents hardships to the cast. Matt Delavan (Mortimer Brewster) says that the most difficult part of preparation is his character’s age.  Despite the challenge, Matt is very excited about the play. “I’m very glad that [they’re] closing out the year with such a great show. I couldn’t ask for more,” said Delavan. Cast members Brendan Geier (Dr. Einstein) and Suzette Olesen (Martha Brewster) agree that the biggest challenges for them are memorizing lines, stage directions, and blocking. Sara Massey (Elaine Harper) tells MDO that her main difficulty is  “definitely having to pretend you’re in love with someone that you don’t really know all that well.”

 

With Arsenic and Old Lace being the last drama these seniors will perform, they share feelings of contentment and sentimentality with the production choice. Brendan Geier said, “I love this show and I’m not only happy with getting a lead, but also because I love playing my character and I can’t imagine myself in any other role.” Fellow actor Suzette Olesen agrees, adding, “I’m happy I gets to leave with such a great show but it also makes me sad to leave this group.” The cast is overall eager to put on an amusing fall drama for Madison High School this 2017 school year.

 

Enjoy a sneak peek of the play with MDTV’s trailer!

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3 Comments

3 Responses to “Arsenic and Old Lace: A Madison High School Production”

  1. Luke Raymaker on November 25th, 2017 10:40 am

    It’s interesting to think about what people have to go through to make these productions a success, and I think the cast’s efforts really came through. The performance felt natural when I watched it, so the fact that each movement and line was carefully planned out is impressive indeed.

  2. Sara Massey on November 26th, 2017 4:50 pm

    Having been a part of the cast I enjoy reading this article because it’s interesting to hear what everyone else had to say about being a part of the show. We never really talked about these things, but I love hearing everyone’s different perspectives about what goes into making the show successful.

  3. Stuart Schaenen on November 29th, 2017 11:34 am

    I thought that the article portion was very informative and the MDTV video provided a really good opening to interest readers and get a preview of the play. I think many people were more interested in going to see the show after reading this article.

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