|Kori Bielaniec as Elaine with Mary Ann Tweedie as Aunt Martha|
Playing the “normal” one in a family of lunatics is sort of like playing the daughter Marilyn in The Munsters, but Kori spices up Elaine with her own brand of sass and spunk. Kori describes her character as follows: “I play Elaine Harper, daughter of Reverend Harper, neighbor of the aunties, and, in the course of the show, fiancée of Mortimer. She’s an absolute sweetheart to the aunties, but I give her some sass when she’s dealing with her fiancé and some incredibly misplaced bravery when she’s dealing with the bad guys. I love Elaine because even though it’s the 1940s and women were still somewhat ‘seen and not heard,’ she’s got some spunk.”
Kori thinks that audiences will relate to Arsenic because the show “centers on a family. Everybody has a few loose cogs in their family wheel, though hopefully not sweet old ladies with murderous intentions. But this play shows how odd families can be and how you best deal with the consequences of your family — you’re stuck with them, you may as well deal! Personally, I infuse Elaine with my own trademark sass — Elaine gives Mortimer some looks that Kori would definitely give a prospective significant other. She’s really not that much different than me, except for being a minister’s daughter. And she’s braver than I am in dealing with the baddies.”
Arsenic is Kori’s debut with the Farmington Players and she loves the camaraderie with the cast and directors Kristi Schwartz and Jason Wilhoite (A.D.), saying, “It was really great how welcoming they all were. Kristi and Jason are absolutely terrific. I liked them the moment I walked into the building to audition. I really hope it’s in the cards for me to be back on the Barn stage again in the future. I’ve had a great time!” Kori began pursuing theatre in high school, and she considered graduate school for acting, but says, “I’m really not cut out to be a starving artist — I much prefer a solid paycheck, so it’s just my hobby now.” She’s on the Board at the Players Guild of Dearborn, and has also performed with Grosse Pointe Theatre, Birmingham Village Players, Barefoot Productions, and Canton Spotlight Players. Besides theater, her other interests include the Detroit Tigers, reading, writing, and shopping: “I also like to buy shoes. And jewelry. Lots of shoes and jewelry. It’s actually a problem.”
The Farmington Players' production of Arsenic and Old Lace opens September 26 and runs through October 18. The show is proudly sponsored by Mall, Malisow & Cooney, P.C.). Tickets can be purchased online at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the box office at 248-553-2955.