Chris Lohkamp, scene shop manager and technical director, Rachel Muirhead, senior theater and speech education major, and Miranda Kimble, junior theater major practice a scene from “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Tickets will be $5 for students, $12 for regular admissions and $11 for seniors for the play which will open 7:30 p.m. April 25 in Bruder Theatre.

Emporia State’s theater department is currently finishing the final preparations for their upcoming performance of “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

“This is a very famous comedy about two matronly sisters who put single gentlemen out of their misery by poisoning them with elderberry wine,” said Jim Bartruff, director of theater.

The play has an unique set up, because the first victim changes each night, according to Bartruff. 

“Several prominent members of our community have agreed to be the first victim each night.” Bartruff said. “Each night of the performance we have a special guest from the community, who will be, how should we put this, ‘dispatched’ by one of the sisters in the play.”

Chris Lohkamp, the technical director and scene shop manager, is part of the cast in the play, in addition to his tech duties. 

He was originally hesitant to audition, but decided being part of the cast could help the students improve, Lohkamp said. 

“When we chose to do this, I was kind of hesitant to audition because I am no longer a student,” Lohkamp said. “I can help them grow as actors through my experiences and say ‘okay this is how I prep a role, this is how I approach rehearsal’ and that kind of stuff.”

It has taken some effort to get used to going to rehearsals every night, on top of his other work as the scene shop manager and technical director, Lohkamp said. 

“He went to ESU here for his undergrad, he did a bunch of shows during that time,” said Sydney Main, actress and graduate clinical psychology student. “He has a lot more experience in that sense, but (is) definitely being a leader for the group.”

The play will be running at 7:30 p.m. April 25-28 in Bruder Theatre in King Hall. Tickets are $5 for students, $12 for regular admissions and $11 for seniors.

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