Students staging classic play in ACC Auditorium

Published 01.31.2024

Faculty & Staff

Arsenic and Old Lace visual


Laughter and suspense will fill Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Klump Academic Center Auditorium this coming weekend when Penn College Theatrics stages the classic play “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Admission is free to the performances set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, and 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4. The college community and wider community are encouraged to attend and support the efforts of the talented thespians. 

The cast and crew of 14 Penn College students promise a captivating performance, bringing to life the quirky Brewster family and their dark comedic secrets. With a perfect blend of humor and intrigue, the production ensures an entertaining experience for both theater enthusiasts and the community. 

The cast includes: 
Mortimer Brewster – Kyle M. Venarchick, bachelor of architecture, Clayton, Del.
Abigail Brewster – Leslie Escamilla-Ambrosio, information assurance & cyber security, Corona, N.Y.
Martha Brewster – Katheryn Juarez, industrial design, Breinigsville
Jonathan Brewster – Jared Patten, network administration & engineering technology, South Abington Township
Dr. Einstein – Chard R. Cort, business administration, Philadelphia
Teddy Brewster – Cameron J. Quinn, welding & fabrication engineering technology, Chesterfield, N.J.
Elaine Harper – Mary B. Herndon, industrial design, Williamsport 
Officer O'Hara/ Reverend Harper – Jacob A. Martinez, robotics & automation, East Stroudsburg 
Officer Brophy/ Mr. Gibbs – Megan R. Adams, industrial design, Carlisle
Officer Klein – Olivia D. Magann, business administration, New Albany
Mr. Witherspoon – Quill A. Lewis, industrial design, West Wyoming
Lieutenant Rooney – Jaydon M. Cottage, nursing, Milton

In addition to Herndon serving as director, Cottage as assistant director and Adams as prop master, the production team is comprised of Kayla E. Maahs, stage manager, and Niko L. Ratjavong, sound operator. Maahs is an industrial design student from Langhorne, and Ratjavong, of Breinigsville, is enrolled is software development & information management. 

“Arsenic and Old Lace” is the first production of Penn College Theatrics. In addition to performances and connecting with local theaters, the group aims to create a fun and accessible place for theater for Penn College students through performance, design, technology and teamwork.

"I have been thrilled to watch the students produce this play,” remarked Thomas E. Ask,  Penn College Theatrics adviser and industrial design professor. “They independently managed the auditions and rehearsals, as well as designed and made the costumes, props and stage sets. They did all the work themselves, highlighting the rich reserve of talent and ability within our student body."

Ask detailed the reemergence of the performing arts on the college campus in a Fall 2023 Penn College Magazine article titled “The Blooming of Performing Arts.”

In addition to Penn College Theatrics, students have formed two music groups in recent years: Music Makers and the Penn College Pep Band. 

“The visual arts are well-represented on campus; now the performing arts have grown – from student passions, not an orchestrated plan. Students were drawn by the sweetness of fresh ideas and love for creating,” Ask pointed out in his article, adding, “The performing arts are a great complement to the maker culture at Penn College.”