Auditions have ended

Clairemont Act One Community Theater Announces Auditions for “Arsenic and Old Lace” by Joseph Kesselring,

Tuesday, March 19, from 6 to 8 pm

Wednesday, March 20, from 6 to 8 pm

Thursday Callbacks if necessary: Thursday, March 21: 7 pm

Location:  North Clairemont Recreation Center (game room unless otherwise posted)

4421 Bannock Ave, San Diego, CA 92117 

Desiree Snider will be director for this classic. 

Interested parties need only attend one evening of auditions, so please feel free to select the date that is most convenient for you. Those auditioning will be asked to read sections from the script. These will be provided at auditions.

Actors should bring:

  • All contact information, personal schedules and a list of rehearsal conflicts to complete the audition form.
  • A recent photo to attach to audition form. Photos do not need to be professional and will not be returned. Should you not have a photo, one will be taken at the time of the audition.

Casting decisions will be completed and all parties notified no later than Sunday, March 24.

Rehearsals: expected to begin immediately after casting for major roles.

Performance Dates: June 14, 15, 20 and 21

Performances are Fri., Sat. evenings at 7:30 pm.

There are opportunities for set building, tech, costume, and other production areas.

Play Summary

Mortimer Brewster is living a happy life: he has a steady job at a prominent New York newspaper, he’s just become engaged, and he gets to visit his sweet spinster aunts to announce the engagement. Mortimer always knew that his family had a bit of a mad gene — his brother believes himself to be Teddy Roosevelt— but his world is turned upside down when he realizes that his dear aunts have been poisoning lonely old men for years! When Mortimer’s maniacal brother, Jonathan. (who strangely now resembles Boris Karloff) returns on the night that the aunts were planning to bury the newest victim, Mortimer must rally to help his aunts and protect his fiancé — all while trying to keep his own sanity. as well. An uproarious farce on plays involving murder, Arsenic and Old Lace has become a favorite.

Adults are required for this production. Cast requirements are as follows.  (NOTE: many roles can be male or female, as noted.)

Roles with the ages actors need to play them:

* Abby Brewster: (this role has been precast) A sweet caring old lady who is loved by all. She has a Victorian charm and grace about her. Her way of helping could also be considered– murder. Very old-fashioned in an ironic way. (55-75)

* Martha Brewster: (this role has been precast) A sweet caring old lady who is loved by all. She has a Victorian charm and grace about her. Her way of helping could also be considered–murder. Very old-fashioned in an ironic way. (55-75)

* Elaine Harper: A sweet young lady who knows what she wants. She is in love with Mortimer and she is not about to let him talk her out of their engagement. The actor seeking this role will show genuine zest and spunk. She will also need to display a wonderful sense of versatility. We witness Elaine progress from casual happiness, to utter bliss , to twisted confusion, to stark fear, to godsend relief, and back to casual happiness again.

* Mortimer Brewster: A young theatre critic who has a bunch of crazy people in his family tree. He himself is afraid of becoming crazy as well as what may happen if people find out about the skeletons in his families cellar.  Mortimer must be played with an apt understanding of physical comedy, perfection of timing in dialog delivery, likability in presence, overemphasis in presentation, and an ability to display agility in navigating the rapidly changing circumstances of each scene. (25-35)

* Teddy Brewster: A bit on the crazy side; Teddy Brewster thinks that he is president Teddy Roosevelt. He buries all of Martha and Abby’s “gentlemen” in the basement. (flexible on age)

* Jonathan Brewster: He was troubled as a child and is even more so as an adult. He has escaped from a mental institution and has murdered multiple people. In order to hide from the law Johnny has had to turn to plastic surgery to alter his face, leaving him disfigured. In one word Jonathan is a sociopath. He’s creepy, plain and simple (30-40)

* Dr. Einstein: A plastic surgeon who is often drinking. He has also escaped from a mental institution. He’s a mousey guy. He is utterly submissive to Jonathan, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know how to control him or at least how to attempt to control him. Einstein should be viewed as a good guy whose life has gone bad. He has a German accent (30-50) (This character may be male or female.)

* The Rev. Dr Harper: A protective father to Elaine. We only see him in the opening scene of the show. Still, it’s a nice part for the right actor. 40-60) (This character may be male or female.)

* Mr. Gibbs: A nice elderly man who lives alone and has no family. (60-70)

* Officer O’Hara: A officer who doesn’t really want to be an officer. He wants to write plays and is eager to tell the renowned critique Mortimer about his plot. He’s not very good at reading the room or knowing when now is not a good time. (20- 40) (This character may be male or female.)

* Officer Brophy: An officer of the law who is likable but maybe not the brightest man on the force. (20-40) (This character may be male or female.)

* Officer Klein: Another officer of the law who is likable but maybe not the brightest man on the force. (20-40) (This character may be male or female.)

* Lieutenant Rooney: All bronze and no brain. An officer of the law. (20-40) (This character may be male or female.)

* Mr. Witherspoon: Superintendent of Happy Dale sanitarium. (40-60) (This character may be male or female.)


Clairemont Act One Community Theater, an all volunteer organization, maintains an “equal opportunity” policy for volunteer recruitment of both board and production positions. Auditions are open to the general public, with the same “equal opportunity” policy. All roles are open for audition except an occasional role is precast and is so noted in the audition notice.