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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 8, 2011

R’ville thespians take aim with Stage Creations

By Zach Simeone

RENSSELAERVILLE — After starting a family in the Hilltowns, Tara McCormick-Hostash was looking for a way to stay in touch with her theatrical roots. And it was with that in mind that she started Rensselaerville Stage Creations.

“I’ve been acting since the age of 9,” McCormick-Hostash said. “I moved to New York City and studied musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. When I came home, started a family, got married, and settled down, I still wanted to be involved, so I thought I’d start a community group around here.”

She got her first directing credit this spring at Middleburgh High School, where she helmed the production of Seussical. Now, Rensselaerville Stage Creations is getting ready to open its first production this weekend: Arsenic and Old Lace.

“It’s about two very sweet old ladies who poison men because they believe they are doing a charity,” McCormick-Hostash said. “That’s it in a nutshell.”

She chose this play, she said, because “it’s a classic, tried and true,” and she has performed in the play herself.

“It’s definitely very dark,” she went on. “And, of course, there are other characters who are incredibly interesting. One of their nephews believes he’s Teddy Roosevelt, and every time he runs up the stairs, he yells, ‘Charge!’”

Each of these characters truly believes in who he is — “even the nephew,” she said, and, if this play has a message, it’s that you should believe in who you are.

“When you’re outside looking in, you think, ‘How could they be killing these men?’” said McCormick-Hostash. “But, they truly believe they’re doing something good.” Throughout the play, the older women at the center of the story have a room in their house that they rent out to different men whom they plan to kill.

A Middleburgh resident, McCormick-Hostash plans to use the production as a means to raise funds for Schoharie residents who were affected by Tropical Storm Irene.

“Our community was hit really hard, and a couple of our cast members were hit pretty hard here,” she said.

But she thinks audience members will get their money’s worth.

“They can expect to have their sides busting with laughter,” McCormick-Hostash said in closing. “The physical comedy in the show is hilarious.”


Arsenic and Old Lace will have three showings this weekend, at Conkling Hall in Rensselaerville: This Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and on Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $8 for seniors and children, and $10 for all others.

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