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  • Rick Bergmann

UpStage Artists to Present a Comedy Classic to Kick Off Its 2023 Season!

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

UpStage Artists has been presenting theater in Beltsville since 2019 but didn’t have a full season [due to Covid] until this year. They are grateful to the patrons and artists from Beltsville and its surrounding areas who have performed in and come out to see their productions. For those waiting for their 2023 season, they have some good news and some bad news.

First, the bad news: UpStage Artists had intended to kick off its season with the classic Neil Simon comedy The Odd Couple. However, due to issues with obtaining the performance rights, they are unable to do so. But the good news is that they still intend to bring a classic comedy to the stage this winter. They have chosen the hysterical “Arsenic and Old Lace” by Joseph Kesselring. Also, the Beltsville News own Rick Bergmann will be directing it!

The show is a master class in comedy. Drama critic Mortimer Brewster’s engagement announcement is upended when he discovers a corpse in his elderly aunts’ window seat. Mortimer rushes to tell Abby and Martha before they stumble upon the body themselves, only to learn that the two old women aren’t just aware of the dead man in their parlor, they killed him! Between his aunts’ penchant for poisoning wine, a brother who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt, and another brother using plastic surgery to hide from the police—not to mention Mortimer’s own hesitancy about marriage—it’ll be a miracle if Mortimer makes it to his wedding. Arsenic and Old Lace is a classic black comedy about the only thing more deadly than poison: family.

As always, UpStage Artists works with new and seasoned performers. Don’t let lack of experience stop you from auditioning for them. Auditions for the show will take place at Emmanuel United Methodist Church on Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3 from 7-9 pm. If you are interested you can visit their website, If you have any questions, contact them at Come out and support community theater!

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