West Fargo High School’s Theatre Department Puts on a New Show with a New Director


WFHS Theater Department’s “Arsenic and Old Lace” Poster.

JoZee Vondal, Staff Writer

                 Opening night for “Arsenic and Old Lace,” as presented by the West Fargo High School theatre department, is tonight at 7:30pm in the West Fargo High School theatre. Tickets for the show can be purchased at Ovation Tix – Student cost is $5 and adult ticket prices are $10 

                 Director of this year’s winter play, Kelsey Johnson, who has been involved in 58 productions as either an actor, director, designer, or stage manager, feels welcomed to the WFHS theatre world because of the community support. “Our extended theatre family — parents, guardians, caregivers — have been absolutely supportive by filling several volunteer positions and organizing all the peripheral needs for the cast, crew, and artistic staff. They reach out for ways to help, and that has made me feel so welcome to the WFHS theatre community as well.” Johnson also notes the ways in which she and other support staff have helped contribute to this winter’s production: “Jenn Hoime, Kerry Horst, and I have a great dynamic and each of us bring our own skills and talents which benefit al of our student artists in different ways.” 

                West Fargo High School senior and cast member Ethan Saari discusses how “Arsenic and Old Lace” has been different from previous shows. “Well with each director that’s been here, I experienced a different process and different style of directing. Each director has an effect on me, and they have showed me different ways to go about performing,” Saari stated. “This play is a physically demanding show for me. There are so many different things going on at the same time. This makes for a very fun show to be a part of. My role in the show is Mortimer Brewster. He is calm and controlled until he finds his aunts killed someone, then things start to unravel. It’s the balancing of so many focus points that is challenging, but also extremely fun at the same time.” Saari plays a leading role of Mortimer Brewster and is also the president of drama club. 

                Ensemble member Angie Oduor believes that this year’s winter play has changed from previous years due to the change in directors. “The only change from previous shows is the directing style. Different directors have a different way of blocking scenes and coaching actors on their skills,” Odour describes. “Some directors prefer to have a set schedule of what days, while others prefer to get as far as they can.” Odour also explains the importance of the supporting roles in this year’s play, “As a dead body, the thing I see that is difficult for other smaller roles is carrying the mood and energy throughout the show with limited stage time. Some actors have only a couple of scenes, but their ones are still important to the show to add to the storyline of the play. Part of their work is disrupting the show or creating any open ends that leaves the audience confused… I’m only a dead body, my main job is to be a prop for the actors to add to the comedy of the show.” 

             Other performance dates for “Arsenic and Old Lace” include Friday, February 4th and Saturday, February 5th at 7:30pm and Sunday, February 6th at 2:00pm.