Lace and Laughter Bring Life to Concord University’s Stage

ATHENS, W.Va. – Step into the Brewster family home where a glass of wine is a murder weapon and the murderers are two elderly women. This September, Concord University Theatre will be presenting Arsenic and Old Lace. Directed by Karen Vuranch, the play will open on Sept. 9th and run through Sept. 13th in the H.C. Paul Theatre.

The readers theatre performances occurring Wednesday-Saturday are at 7 p.m. Sunday’s matinee will be held at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 for the general public. All CU students, faculty, and staff are free. However, reservations are required for all. Due to COVID-19, seating will be limited, letting parties no larger than four sit together.

Arsenic and Old Lace, written by Joseph Kesselring, follows the Brewsters, an interesting family made up of sisters, Abby and Martha, who are hiding the fact they are murderers, and their abnormal nephews. When Mortimer proposes to the preacher’s daughter, family secrets are let out, and suspicion arises. Arsenic and Old Lace will keep the audience laughing as the Brewsters go to eccentric measures to hide the bodies in the basement.

The show was scheduled to be produced this past spring, but, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed. Because of this, performances will be readers theatre style, meaning the performers will be holding the scripts with them on stage.

To uphold safety guidelines, performers will be wearing facial coverings for portions of the show and will be maintaining social distancing while on stage. Audience members are also required to wear masks. The audience also will be seated socially distant in the H.C. Paul Theatre.

Arsenic and Old Lace is directed by Concord University’s Theatre Instructor, Karen Vuranch. Abby Brewster will be played by Melinda Goda of Indiana, and her sister, Martha Brewster, will be played by Hannah Puckett of McDowell County, West Virginia. The nephews will be played Chris Cohenour, Cameron White, and Jimmy Wilburn.

Concord University Theatre is located in the Alexander Fine Arts Building on Concord University’s Athens campus. For more information or to reserve tickets, call 304-384-5275 or email

Melinda Goda (right) and Hannah Puckett (left) portray the two eccentric aunts in Arsenic and Old Lace
Hannah Gates of Princeton and Chris Cohenour of Beckley play the newly engaged couple, Elaine and Mortimer
Jimmy Wilburn of Bluefield plays the evil Jonathan Brewster

Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 or 1-800-344-6679 extension 6086 if special assistance is required for access to an event scheduled by the University on campus.

This press release was written by Concord University student, Trevor Darago.


Sarah M. Pritchett
Concord University
Office of Advancement
PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712
(304) 384-6312,

After 4 p.m.
Office: 304-384-5211
Cell: 304-320-6405

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