Auditions are closed for this play.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Apr 1st 2023
A Timeless Comedy
by: Joseph Kesserling

Directed by: Jennifer McKenna
Produced by:Steve Murdock

Audition Notes:
Cast Requirements:
(Please note that the age ranges listed are suggestions and actors who may be slightly
younger or older will, of course, be considered.)
● Abby Brewster (Lead) - Female, mid-late 60s
● Martha Brewster (Lead) - Female, early-mid 60s
● Mortimer Brewster (Lead) - Male, low-mid 30s
● Teddy Brewster (Supporting) - Male, 40s
● Elaine Harper (Supporting) - Female, mid-late 20s
● Officer O’Hara (Supporting) - Male, mid-30s
● Jonathan Brewster (Supporting) - Male, 40s
● Dr. Einstein (Supporting) - Male, late 30s -early 40s - *German dialect
● Dr. Reverend Harper (Featured) - Male, 50s
● Mr. Witherspoon (Featured) - Male, late 50s
● Lieutenant Rooney (Featured) - Male, early 50s
● Officer Brophy (Featured) - Male, late 20s -mid-30s
● Officer Klein (Featured) - Male, late 20s-mid 30s
● Mr. Gibbs (Featured) - Male, late 60s

(Unless more detail is provided in the character description, the ability to portray all of the
attributes and characteristics listed for each character is highly desirable.)
● Abby Brewster (Lead)
○ Abby Brewster is sister to Martha and aunt to Mortimer, Teddy and
Jonathan. Both sisters seem to be the absolute embodiment of the values
and polite society of a bygone age. Of the two sisters, Abby is clearly
more dominant. Neither Abby nor Martha are your sterotypical “old
ladies.” Rather, they are happy, healthy, lucid, and spry. Comedic timing
is a must for this role.
● Martha Brewster (Lead)
○ Martha is the more submissive of the two Brewster sisters, but she still
has a backbone. She and Abby have lived together for years and presents
as a sincere, sweet, loving old lady who, like her sister, is well-known
and respected in the community. While the two sisters are remarkably
similar, Martha is slightly meeker. Comedic timing is a must for this role.
● Mortimer Brewster (Lead)
○ Mortimer, the backbone of the show, is the nephew to Abby and Martha
and brother of Teddy and Jonathan. Basically, he is a pretty likeable guy.
He writes theatre reviews of Broadway plays for a living and does not like
his job very much. He is an exceptionally intelligent man who does not
have a proper outlet for his talents. As a result, he is full of criticism for
all things in and out of his work life. That being said, Mortimer is a
likeable man. HIs care and affection for his aunts are apparent and his
love for Elain is undeniable. Comedic timing, charisma and agility are
musts for this role.
● Teddy Brewster (Supporting)
○ Teddy, nephew to Abby and Martha and brother to Mortimer and
Jonathan, is blissfully delusional. He believes he is Theodore Roosevelt
and knows absolutely everything about the former President. He is
charming and authentic enough that everyone plays along with his
delusions and the aunts use this to their advantage. Teddy is enthusiastic
and imaginative. Comedic timing and physical endurance are highly
preferred for this role.
● Elaine Harper (Supporting)
○ Daughter of Dr. Harper, Elaine is Mortimer’s girlfriend and does not play
well the role of minister’s daughter. Elaine is bit wiley, sassy, and
absolutely sharp. She is refinement mingled with the realities of a life
that has been lived a bit beyond what might be expected given her
upbringing. Elaine is zesty, spunky and displays a wonderful sense of
versatility. Elaine’s journey goes from casual happiness, to complete
bliss, to twisted confusion, to stark fear, to godsend relief and back to
casual happiness. Comedic timing and versatility of character are musts
for this role.
● Officer O’Hara (Supporting)
○ Officer O’Hara is the quintessential example of an Irish-American police
officer. A 12 year veteran of the police force and would-be murder
mystery playwright, Officer O’Hara is good natured, well-intentioned,
and full of life, but proves inept as a police officer. He does not intend to
come across as annoying as he does. He is on very good terms with the
Brewster sisters and seems to have gotten to know them best. He
displays a nagging, persistent drive that’s been hiding beneath the
surface once he discovers Mortimer is a famous dramatic critic. The role
requires a fairly believable portrayal of heavy intoxication.
● Jonathan Brewster (Supporting)
○ In one word, Jonathan is a sociopath. He is a shady and creepy guy. As a
child he practiced his penchant for inflicting inhumane suffering on
others with his brother Mortimer. Jonathan is a killer, and he thoroughly
enjoys his work. He is short-tempered, unpredictable and in no way in
control of his emotions. He is the antagonist. He’s had numerous plastic
surgeries to alter his appearance. He must display a truly menacing
presence and displays a deep-seated animosity towards his brother,
Mortimer. He can go from severely sedate and looming in one second to
wildly aggressive and animalistic in the next. He is in control in most
circumstances, but when he cannot gain control, he does not retract into
a shell, he evades the scene rapidly.
● Dr. Einstein (Supporting)
○ Dr. Einstein, a plastic surgeon and alcoholic, is a “mousy” guy. He is
completely and utterly submissive to Jonathan, but that does not mean
that he doesn’t know how to control, or attempt to control, Jonathan. Dr.
Einstein is a man who may have been an upstanding member of society
had he made better choices. He is a character with whom the audience
may sympathize. He is somewhat ratty in appearance and resides in a
pleasant haze of alcohol, but does not appear overly intoxicated. A
German dialect is preferred for this role.
● Dr. Reverend Harper (Featured)
○ Dr. Harper is a doctor of divinity. He is the minister of the church next
door to the Brewster residence. Dr. Harper displays a limitless sense of
kindness towards the Brewster sisters, but his affection for them has
diminished a bit since their nephew, Mortimer, began dating his
daughter, Elaine. Dr. Harper is polished, refined, mild-mannered, but is
no pushover. He is comfortable voicing his concerns for his daughter and
her relationship with Mortimer.
● Mr. Witherspoon (Featured)
○ Mr. Witherspoon in the superintendent of the Happydale Sanitarium and
has a gentle demeanor. He is an older gentleman and, given the nature of
his employment, has seen it all in terms of human behavior so very little
catches him off guard.
● Lieutenant Rooney (Featured)
○ Lt. Rooney is the man in charge at the local police precinct. He is a man
forced to run a pretty tight ship and possesses little patience for blunders
or mistakes. Lt. Rooney should display a strong, commanding presence.
He is loud, decisive and clearly in charge of every situation in which he
finds himself.
● Officer Brophy (Featured)
○ Officer Brophy is a likeable person who has gotten to know the Brewster
sisters and their apparent reputation of being kind, generous, elderly
members of the community very well.
● Officer Klein (Featured)
○ Officer Klein is also a likeable person who has gotten to know the
Brewster sisters in the same way Officer Brophy has. Officer Klein is not
good at cleaning guns and perhaps is a bit clumsy.
● Mr. Gibbs (Featured)
○ Mr. Gibbs is a quiet, elderly man who comes to the Brewster home
looking for a room to rent. He is slightly gruff, but he warms up fairly
quickly upon being offered a treat he has not had since he was a child.
Plot Synopsis:
Mortimer Brewster arrives at his sweet aunts’ house to introduce his newly betrothed.
He always knew that his family had a bit of a mad gene - his brother believes he is
Teddy Roosevelt. Things take a mad turn when he discovers that his dear aunts have
been poisoning lonely old men for years! His sinister brother, Johathan, arrives as the
aunts are planning to bury their latest victim, Mortimer must rally to protect his aunts,
save his fiancee and maintain his own sanity as the Brewsters go to hilarious lengths
to protect the literal skeletons buried in the cellar.

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