Cast members of Arsenic and Old Lace rehearses a scene. From L to R: Wendy Webster as Martha Brewster, Tim Stuff as her nephew, Mortimer, and Sandra Lowe-Dusel as Martha's sister, Abby. Photo by Rachel Brill.
Arsenic and Old Lace Opens Oct 28
The Penfield Players will open their fall main stage production, “Arsenic and Old Lace” by Joseph Kesselring, on October 28, 2022, for seven performances. “Arsenic and Old Lace,” directed by Jean Gordon Ryon, is a classic comedy and one of our most ambitious undertakings. With a two-story set and a cast of 13, the audience will be taken on a wild ride through the lives of the Brewster family. Set in the 1940’s, “Arsenic and Old Lace” is the story of two sisters, Abby and Martha Brewster, who have a unique way of “helping” elderly gentlemen. They are assisted in their efforts by their nephew, Teddy. To his astonishment, Teddy’s brother, Mortimer, inadvertently discovers what they’re up to. Meanwhile, another Brewster shows up - Jonathan, an outlaw on the run, who is accompanied by his accomplice, Dr. Einstein. When you add to the mix a bevy of police officers hot on Jonathan’s trail, Mortimer’s fiancé (Elaine Harper), and a detective doubling as a would-be writer, you have all the makings of a fast-paced and delightful farce.
“Most audience members will be familiar with this show, so expectations will be high,” said director Ryon. “I think our hard-working cast and production team are up to the challenge, and we look forward to offering everyone a hilarious evening of entertainment.”
The cast includes some veteran Penfield Players as well as many newcomers to the Players.
Tristan Berlet (Pittsford) as Officer O’Hara
Sean Dolan (Irondequoit) as Officer Brophy
Sandra Lowe-Dusel (Ontario) as Abby Brewster
Wyatt Doremus (Ontario) as the Rev. Dr. Harper and Mr. Gibbs
Bradley Files (Rochester) as Teddy Brewster
Hope Kollarik (Oakfield) as Elaine Harper
Anthony L’Abbate (Rochester) as Jonathan Brewster
Gary O’Dea (Fairport) as Mr. Witherspoon
Larry Ploscowe (Rochester) as Dr. Einstein
Tim Stuff (Rochester) as Mortimer Brewster
Wendy Webster (Penfield) as Martha Brewster
Kaleab Wiggins (Rochester) as Officer Klein
Tyler Wolff (Rochester) as Lieutenant Rooney
All performances are at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd., in Penfield. Performances are on Oct. 28, Oct. 29, Nov. 4, Nov. 5, Nov. 11, and Nov. 12 at 8:00 p.m. There is a matinee on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2:00 p.m.
Tickets will go on sale the week of October 3 online at penfieldrec.org, by phone at 585.340.8655 during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, and in person at the Penfield Community Center. Tickets are $14 in advance and $17 at the door. Group rates are available for groups of ten or more.
The Penfield Players will be following all Covid protocols in effect for the Penfield Community Center at the time of performance.
Our spring 2023 main stage production will be Almost, Maine by John Cariani. Directed by Tom Bigongiari, this charming play is a series of vignettes about love discovered and love lost. Dramatists Play Service describes it this way: “Welcome to Almost, Maine, a place that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States. It’s almost in Canada. And it’s not quite a town, because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it almost doesn’t exist. One cold, clear, winter night, as the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, the residents of Almost, Maine, find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend—almost—in this delightful midwinter night’s dream.” We know our Penfield Players audiences will enjoy this show. Performance dates are April 28 – May 13, 2023.
Almost, Maine is Our Spring 2023 Main Stage Production
Volunteers Needed for Arsenic and Old Lace
Volunteers are needed for Arsenic and Old Lace. We can use help at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd., Penfield, NY, in any of the following areas. Contact us at email@example.com if you are interested.
Load-in and set build starts Saturday, October 15 at 10 a.m. We will meet at the "barn" (745 Whalen Rd., Penfield) to move flats from the barn to the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Rd., Penfield. Once the flats and set pieces have been moved, we'll begin the set build and decoration process. Anyone who volunteers receives one comp (free) ticket to see the performance of their choice of Arsenic and Old Lace.
For our performances on Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 28 and 29, Nov. 4 and 5, and Nov. 11 and 12 at 8 p.m., and at our matinee on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m., we need help in the following ways.
Plan to arrive about 45 minutes before show time. No experience needed; any necessary training will be provided. And you get to see the show for free!
Cast, crew, and volunteers getting the set ready for our spring 2022 production, Art of Murder.
Penfield Players Reunion Picnic in August Was a Great Success:
Nick and Andrea Daszkiewicz Named "Players of the Year"
The Penfield Players held their annual Reunion Picnic on August 21at Veterans Memorial Park in Penfield. An enthusiastic group of about thirty participants joined the fun. Liz Gill, Board President, announced the 2022-2023 season, which includes The Thanksgiving Play for the Rochester Fringe Festival, and Arsenic and Old Lace this fall and Almost, Maine next spring, both at the Penfield Community Center. We will also be doing a Readers’ Theatre performance in February, specific play to be announced. The cast of The Thanksgiving Play presented a short excerpt in preparation for their Rochester Fringe Festival performance.
A highlight of the festivities was our annual Player of the Year award, which was given to Nick and Andrea Daszkiewicz in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the Penfield Players over the past several years. Nick and Andrea started their association with the Players in 2019 with Peril on the High Seas. Andrea performed in the show, and Nick helped build the set. They subsequently joined the board as members of the logistics team, designing and building the sets for The Haunting of Hill House and Art of Murder. Andrea performed in The Haunting of Hill House and even stepped into a part in Art of Murder for one evening when one of the actors had an illness in the family. Most recently, Andrea has taken on the role of producer for both Art of Murder and our current production, Arsenic and Old Lace. We appreciate their energy and commitment to the Penfield Players, and congratulation them on this award as a recognition of their many contributions to the Players.
From L to R: Andrea Daszkiewicz and Nick Daszkiewicz receive the Penfield Player of the Year award from board president, Liz Gill, at the 2022 reunion picnic. Photo by Wendy Webster.