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Pinedale Online > News > March 2018 > Arsenic and Old Lace

A Delightful Murder Romance. Photo by Terry Allen.
A Delightful Murder Romance

Have a Glass of Wine My Dear?. Photo by Terry Allen.
Have a Glass of Wine My Dear?

Everything is Not What it Seems. Photo by Terry Allen.
Everything is Not What it Seems

The Innocent Elaine. Photo by Terry Allen.
The Innocent Elaine
Back stage make up.

Time to Call for Help. Photo by Terry Allen.
Time to Call for Help
Mortimer reaches out

1 of 12 Bodies. Photo by Terry Allen.
1 of 12 Bodies
A pre-performance photo

Teddy Does the Hard Work. Photo by Terry Allen.
Teddy Does the Hard Work

A Tormented Dr. Einstein. Photo by Terry Allen.
A Tormented Dr. Einstein

It Get's Scary in Parts. Photo by Terry Allen.
It Get's Scary in Parts
Audience members hold onto each other.

What? Who Are They?. Photo by Terry Allen.
What? Who Are They?
The drama spills into the audience?

Picking up Little Sister. Photo by Terry Allen.
Picking up Little Sister
after Matinee
Arsenic and Old Lace
A Pinedale High School Play
by Terry Allen
March 15, 2018

On Monday March 12, 2018 at 1:30 in the afternoon, The Pinedale High School Drama Department put on a matinee performance of Arsenic and Old Lace (also evening performances on the 12th & 13th…remember those numbers).

Mr. Smith, Mr. Allen and all the student actors, makeup artists, and stage managers kindly agreed to let me stage a lot of my photos before the play began. Because of this, they may not be in their actual costumes or full makeup in all the photographs. In fact, for all three performances, the actors played different roles.

On Monday noon, a young woman might be the starring love interest and in the evening she might be in the role of a policewoman…and so on. I also wanted to illustrate the part our imaginations play, by showing what is behind various stage doors, etc., like the door to the cellar where the bodies are buried.

Speaking of bodies…
Two sweet old Aunties live in a stately Victorian home next door to a graveyard. On Sundays they place flowers on some of the graves. On the other side of the graveyard is a grand old church administered by a respected man of the cloth. Life appears to have gone well for them.

The Aunties adopted and raised their nephew Mortimer, who became a successful bachelor and a big time New York drama critic. In the afternoon or evenings, the Aunties might entertain friends…or lonely old widowers…with tea, or a very special homemade elderberry wine.

Mortimer has an adorable girlfriend who he has no intention of marrying. The part is cast and played so well I’m sure everyone in the audience wonders what’s wrong with Mortimer. From that point on, we are introduced to oddity after family oddity. Mortimer’s uncle Teddy also lives in the home and he is either rambunctiously pulling out his saber and charging up San Juan Hill (stairs) or descending into the cellar to dig the Panama Canal. Yes, Teddy thinks he is Roosevelt before he became The Prez.

Mortimer takes a breather on the window seat to contemplate his life and for some reason opens it…and finds a body inside. This sends him into a frantic state that lasts throughout the play. He confronts the Aunties and they are matter of fact about it, rationalize it; and Teddy comes and drags the body off to the Panama Canal.

Mortimer takes stock and realizes there are 3 crazies to his 1 in his family. That is when his long lost brother appears. Jonathan had disappeared into a bad life years earlier and Mortimer had been happy he’d gone away. Unfortunately, Jonathan came back with a "friend" who is also a plastic surgeon who keeps changing Jonathan’s appearance…using the faces of people he killed to stay one step ahead of the law. Now, it was 4 crazies to 1, and Mortimer begins to think he has the same insane murder gene and his own crime spree is just around the corner…so he insists on immediately getting married to the innocent Elaine… presumably before she finds out he is crazy and won’t.

He also recognizes the medicinal value of alcohol and decides it’s time he start coping by drinking… the very special elderberry wine. When the Aunties won’t let him drink and he learns the reason why is the 12 bodies buried in the cellar (who’s wealth presumably supports his family), he decides to invest in a cover up, a compassionate framing of his Uncle Teddy… and maybe a murder of his own… before going off on his honeymoon.

I won’t be a spoiler and tell you all the ending. Our library has the Movie starring Cary Grant.

I don’t know why no one has done a musical version of this play before. I have found myself making up and singing the most delightful little murder ballad. Next time you see me, ask me to sing you the tune… and you can try my delicious elderberry wine, too.

Terry Allen:

Directors: Greg Allen and Justin Smith

Jaxon Buchanan, Jake Harber
Martha: Kodie Egle, Jenna Roadifer
Jonathan: Anthony Goulette
Abby: Aaliyah Harford-Stevens, Katie Wycoff
Teddy: Shyla Orders
Elaine: Ivy Porter, Baylee White
Mr. Gibbs: Ashleigh Hultquist
Lieutenant Rooney: Senddey Gutierrez
Officer Brophy: Riley Dauwen, Olivia Young
Officer Klein: Emma McCulloch
Officer O’Hara: Preslie Simkins, Bryce Van Etten
Dr. Einstein: Hunter Westercamp
Dr. Harper, Mr. Witherspoon, Corpse: Corbin Woolstenhulme

Tech Director: Patrick Rookus
Set Design & Construction: Greg Allen
Props & Set Painting: Madeleine Murdock, Elaine Crumpley, Sharron Ziegler
Stage Manager: Mackenzie Miller
Costuming: Ashleigh Hultquist, Megan Anspach
Makeup/Hair: Preslie Simkins
Lights: Liam Fallon
Sound/Tech Manager: Nate Miller
Ticket Sales: Bethany Essington
Set Construction: JJ Lopez-Bandin

Special Thanks:
Jay Harnack and SCSD#1 School Board
Principal Brian Brisko and administrative staff
Cydnee Alfrey and Emery Kemp for publicity
Patrick Rookus and auditorium staff
Pam McCulloch
Mrs. Robertson and the Leadership class
Office Outlet and NAPA Auto Parts for selling ticket

Related Links
  • - Sublette County School District #1
  • Arsenic and Old Lace program - (PDF)

  • No, Don't Drink That!. Photo by Terry Allen.
    No, Don't Drink That!

    Just Tea?. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Just Tea?
    The next victim

    Insane Nephew Jonathan. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Insane Nephew Jonathan

    Mr. Allen. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Mr. Allen
    Hanging pictures before performance

    Cop and New Victim. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Cop and New Victim

    Getting the Mic Attached. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Getting the Mic Attached

    Another One For the Cellar. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Another One For the Cellar

    Tie Him Up!. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Tie Him Up!
    The end may be near for Mortimer

    Dr. Einstein Getting Away?. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Dr. Einstein Getting Away?

    Mortimer Discovers a Body. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Mortimer Discovers a Body

    Olivia the Cop. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Olivia the Cop
    Prior to performance

    The Awful Nephew. Photo by Terry Allen.
    The Awful Nephew
    Prior to performance

    Makeup Room Back Stage. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Makeup Room Back Stage

    Behind the Cellar Door. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Behind the Cellar Door

    Elaine and the Murderous Aunties. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Elaine and the Murderous Aunties
    But, she doesn't know that yet...

    Marry Me Quick. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Marry Me Quick
    Before I lose my mind or you find out the truth and don't

    Adorable Auntie. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Adorable Auntie
    but she has a dark secret

    Teddy Can't Stop Charging. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Teddy Can't Stop Charging
    or blowing the horn

    Grab Her!. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Grab Her!
    We have to bury her in the cellar, too

    Taking a Bow. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Taking a Bow

    Signing the Commitment Papers. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Signing the Commitment Papers

    We're Not Leaving!. Photo by Terry Allen.
    We're Not Leaving!

    Taking Away Jonathan. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Taking Away Jonathan

    Necklace Removal Back Stage. Photo by Terry Allen.
    Necklace Removal Back Stage
    Pinedale Online > News > March 2018 > Arsenic and Old Lace

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