Behind the Scenes of Arsenic and Old Lace


By Kendra Levendusky and Luke Kaplan

The WHHS fall drama, Arsenic and Old Lace, made its debut this past Thursday, November 29th, and had two additional shows on Friday and Saturday at 7 P.M.  

Justine DeNicola is a junior at WHHS who recently participated in her first major role. “I really enjoyed it! I especially loved the bond with the rest of the cast. It was definitely a lot of work, but being on stage and making an audience laugh made it completely worth it,” DeNicola said.

In this show, there are many elements of dark humor throughout the plot. The most comedic character in the drama, Dr. Herman Einstein, is a German plastic surgeon and alcoholic. Played by Jade He, she discussed the challenges of tackling the role of a male character.

“He is a really fun character to dissect,” she said. “When I was really little, I played boys in Les Mis, Oliver, etc. It was different then because those characters were younger and it didn’t really matter if they looked a little feminine, but Einstein is an old guy.”

Acting alongside Einstein comes the maniacal character of an estranged brother, Jonathan Brewster.

Sophomore Chris Mezza took this role as his second lead in the Wayne Hills Theater Workshop but his first lead in a drama during his time at Hills. With his great talent comes a very humble person, willing to master his craft and learn along the way. “It’s been so much fun acting alongside so many talented people and I feel like my performance has improved because of it.”

Another challenging element to the production is the job of the stage manager. For Sophomore Christina Silvestri, stage managing for a second year while still being an underclassman has brought quite a few challenges.

“Even though it is my second-year stage managing, a new show comes with new responsibilities! As a stage manager, I have to worry about everyone else around me, what is happening on stage, and every single prop that is used!” Silvestri said.

Unfortunately, Arsenic and Old Lace is the last fall drama that many seniors get to be a part of. For seniors like Katie Durot, theater has been an important part of life during their four years at Hills.

“Being a senior is bittersweet. I am moving onto bigger things, but I’m leaving behind the stage that made high school so memorable. I’m thankful for everything I’ve learned in the Wayne Hills theater program, and I can’t believe it’s time to let go,” said Durot, who played Elaine.

The Wayne Hills Theater Department welcomes those who are interested in trying out for the Spring musical, Disaster, a comedic jukebox musical set in the 70s.

Auditions are on December 3rd and 4th, and callbacks and dance auditions are on December 6th.