Arsenic and Old Lace opens in the living room of the Brewster home, inhabited by two spinster aunts, Abby and Martha Brewster, and their nephew, Teddy. Rev. Dr. Harper is chatting with Abby about her other nephew, Mortimer, who is in love with the reverend’s daughter, Elaine. Soon joining the conversation are two friendly police officers, Brophy and Klein, who have come by (as they often do) to pick up a box for charity from the kindly Brewster sisters. Theodore, who is rather crazy but harmless, thinks he is Theodore Roosevelt and charges up the stairs to retrieve the box.
Arsenic and Old Lace is a two-act play suitable for teenagers and adults with a running time of two hours plus intermission.