Rhode Island College, Office of College Communications and Marketing, News Release


CONTACT:  Gita Brown, 401-456-8465, gbrown@ric.edu
                       Laura Hart, 401-456-8977, lhart@ric.edu


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The RIC Mainstage Theatre is mounting two student productions this spring: “Arsenic and Old Lace,” Feb. 19–23 at the Forman Theatre, and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” April 24-27 in the auditorium in Roberts Hall at Rhode Island College, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave., Providence.

“Arsenic and Old Lace,” written by American playwright Joseph Kesselring, is a farce set in Brooklyn where Mortimer Brewster, a drama critic who hates the theater, must cope with his two spinster aunts who think they are doing a Christian service by poisoning lonely old men who room in their home. Meanwhile, Mortimer must debate whether or not he should marry the girl next door – the minister’s daughter.

The protagonist is played by Neil Jeronimo of Swansea, Mass., while the two aunts are played by Aimee-Rose Willett of Putnam, Conn., and Bethany Giammarco of Warwick, R.I.; additionally, 14 other characters make rapid-fire entrances and exits.

Linda Sutherland, guest director of "Arsenic and Old Lace," is a teaching artist and talk-back leader at Trinity Repertory Company, along with associate director of academic programs at Emerson College and a faculty member at Boston University.

“There are a lot of comings and goings,” said Sutherland. “There’s Teddy who blows a bugle and races up the stairs, yelling, ‘Charge!’ There’s the police wandering in and out of the house to keep an eye on Teddy. There are the two aunts preparing tea or elderberry wine laced with arsenic. And there is the constant reshuffling of dead bodies, several of which are hidden in the window seat, 12 are buried in the cellar and another fresh kill is brought by Mortimer’s brother.”

“The show is guaranteed to bring audiences a lot of laughter and a good night out,” said Sutherland. Tickets are $15.

RIC’s spring season closes with the musical comedy “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” about two con men who live on the French Riviera. Though they attempt to work together on heists, they soon discover that the town isn’t big enough for both of them. The men decide that the first to extract $50,000 from a young heiress gets to remain in town and the other must leave. This production is directed by RIC theater professor Bill Wilson. Reserved seating is $20.

For tickets to both shows, call the Box Office at (401) 456-8144, or visit www.ric.edu/pfa.

RIC’s Bachelor of Arts program in theatre offers concentrations in performance, design/technical theatre, general theatre and offers the only musical theatre program in Southeastern New England. The college stages four major productions annually, while each year RIC students consistently earn top honors at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Many of its alumni have gone on to appear in prominent roles on television, stage and in film.