Rehearsals are underway for Greeneville Theatre Guild’s “Arsenic and Old Lace,” a classic comedy opening Friday at The Capitol Theatre of Greeneville.

Greeneville Theatre Guild is bringing the classic comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace” to the Capitol Theatre of Greeneville’s stage.

The show opens Friday, a news release said. Performances are Friday and Saturday, and again Sept. 20 and 21, at 7 p.m. Matinees are Sunday and again Sept. 22 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors 65 and older, students and children and may be obtained online at or at the door. They may also be reserved by calling 423-470-2792.


Mortimer Brewster is as normal as any typical young man. He has a job as a drama critic, and he’s in love with Elaine Harper and is planning a marriage proposal.

His family, on the other hand, is far from normal. His brother, Teddy, believes he is Theodore Roosevelt (yes, that Theodore Roosevelt). His sweet aunts, Abby and Martha, live with Teddy and help care for him. They also befriend and poison lonely old men with homemade wine they lace with arsenic and then bury them in the cellar where Teddy is “digging the Panama Canal,” a synopsis said.

Mortimer’s horrified discovery of their actions interrupts his plan for a romantic evening, as should be expected. What isn’t expected, though, is the arrival of Mortimer’s other brother, Jonathan, and Dr. Einstein. Jonathan is a sadistic career criminal, and Dr. Einstein has performed plastic surgery on him several times to change his looks. And, they brought their latest victim with them.

Throw in Elaine’s father who despises theater, a policeman who wants Mortimer’s help with a play he’s writing, and a lieutenant who is unhappy because the policeman is spending way too much time at the Brewster house: The result is a classic comedy that’s kept theatre patrons laughing for years, the release said.

Written by Joseph Kesselring, “Arsenic and Old Lace” is probably best known for the 1944 film adaptation, which starred Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster. It debuted on Broadway in 1941 and was declared as “one of the funniest plays he’d ever seen” by a New York Times theater critic.


The Greeneville Theatre Guild opens their production of “Arsenic and Old Lace” on Friday. Directed by longtime theater veteran Bill Regan, assisted by the guild’s artistic coordinator, Sandy Nienaber, the cast is filled with familiar faces alongside some newcomers to the guild, the release said.

Mortimer and Elaine are played by real-life couple Gary Carver and Heather Dalton. She was most recently seen in the guild’s production of “Steel Magnolias” and “Barefoot in the Park.”

Local favorites Laura Dupler and Pam Gosnell portray the sweet wine-making aunts, Abby and Martha. Teddy is played by Michael Fillers, and Jonathan is portrayed by R.J. McCollum, recently seen in “Bright Star.”

The Rev. Kenneth Saunders of St. James Episcopal Church makes his guild debut playing Reverend Harper, Elaine’s father. Craig Robertson, who portrayed Young Turk last year in Tusculum’s production of “Tarzan” debuts with the guild as Dr. Einstein.

The cast is rounded out by the familiar faces of Larry Bunton, Kyler Johnson, Jonathan Cook, Jeff Ward, and Simon Johnson.