Comedy of murders comes to Tualatin High's little theater
'Arsenic & Old Lace' is opening Wednesday.
Does your family sometimes drive you crazy? At least they're not the Brewsters.
I think it'll be a people-pleaser, said freshman Laurel Gray, one of the actresses who portrays a police officer in the play.
Director and drama teacher Stephen Jackson-Clark described the show as a more traditional and straightforward production than some of the others that Tualatin High has put on recently, such as the avant-garde Thornton Wilder play The Skin of Our Teeth this past fall.
I've done it a couple of times before, said Jackson-Clark, admitting he was reluctant when his students suggested doing Arsenic & Old Lace last year.
But, he continued, I kept rereading it and kept thinking about the students that we had, and I realized that it's this amazing dark comedy from 1940, that there's a reason it's one of the most popular plays that high schools put on, and that we had the students to do it justice. So as much as I was resisting it personally, it ultimately made sense that it would be the best production for us to do.
Junior Camryn Gray, a veteran of Tualatin High School Theatre, plays one of the batty, homicidal Brewster aunts, Martha.
It's a fun character, but definitely hard to connect to, since I'm not an old lady and I don't kill people, she said. But I think that's one of the fun things about it.
This is Camryn Gray's sixth play at Tualatin High.
I like being able to entertain people and express myself in different ways, she explained. In this life, we're all given one person to be, but acting allows me to be different people like an old person who kills someone.
Her sister Laurel added, I kind of consider myself a shy person. Public speaking scares me, going up in front of crowds scares me, but being able to be a different character kind of allows me to, like, lose that stress and anxiety and just be myself, which is really nice.
Arsenic & Old Lace opens Wednesday with a 3:30 p.m. matinee. There will be evening performances Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through March 12, with another matinee next Wednesday, March 9.
Admission to the evening performances is $10 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for children and senior citizens. Admission to the matinees is $5 for all.
Tualatin High is located at 22300 S.W. Boones Ferry Rd.
As with previous plays directed by Jackson-Clark, there are two casts who will alternate performances.