By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – On Sunday, March 4, Grapeland High School One Act Play (OAP) students will present a performance of the Joseph Kesserling play, “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

The comedy is set in Brooklyn, New York in 1940 and centers on two spinster sisters, Abby and Martha Brewster, who open their home and hearts to others in the neighborhood.

According to OAP Co-Director Callie Barge, their world is interrupted by an inquisitive nephew – Mortimer Brewster – when he finds out his aunts have been poisoning lonely, elderly men as part of “one of their charities” and burying them in the cellar.

Mortimer Brewster is exhausted in his efforts to hide the Aunts secret while also fending off his long lost brother, Jonathan that strongly resembles Boris Karloff, she added.

“We (Barge and Co-Director D’Linda Mahaffey) really thought a comedy would be good for the kids we have because of their personalities. They are a really fun group and they like to laugh a lot,” Barge explained.

“We also thought they could portray the characters in this comedy because of the humor,” she continued “We wanted to pick a play that has a big cast so we could make sure everyone that wanted to could be involved.”

While the play itself is older than the old lace in the title, Barge said “… it’s been a while since I’ve seen it done in district competition. It’s a classic everyone seems to remember.”

She said for some of the cast members, it was slightly nostalgic because some of the moms and dads, grandmothers and grandfathers of the performers had been in different productions of the play.

“It has a history attached to it that they are getting to be part of,” Barge said.

The cast members are as follows:

Abby Brewster – Reagan Bishop; Teddy Brewster – Carly Parker; Officer Brophy – Stacy Perez; Officer Klein – Saruhen Velasquez; Martha Brewster  – Abigail Barrett; Elaine Harper – Rebecca Seiersen; Mortimer Brewster – D’Angelo Colter; Mr. Gibbs – Jacob Barbosa; Jonathan Brewster – Victoria Lane; Dr. Einstein – Cierra Espinoza; Officer O’Hara – Haylee Cryer; Lieutenant Rooney – Rebecca Seiersen; and Mr. Witherspoon – Sarah Strifley.

The crew members are: Hanna Lucas; Cheyenne Bowman; Cerdarian Davis; and Deven Smith.

The play is directed by Callie Barge and D’Linda Mahaffey.

The show will begin at 2 p.m. in the Lorena Schulz Auditorium. Admission is free to the public, but donations are greatly appreciated. There will also be a few T-shirt’s available for purchase for $15 on a first come, first serve basis.

The cast and crew are preparing for their One Act Play competition which will be held on March 8 at Centerville High School at 1 p.m.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.