You Can't Take It With You

You Can’t Take It With You

A Comedy in Three Acts
By Moss Hart & George S. Kaufman

 

Penelope Sycamore (played by Tanya Haas) Usually goes by Penny, Penelope is the mother of Essie and Alice, wife of Paul, and daughter of Martin. She writes plays and paints as hobbies because it makes her happy, but is terrible at both. Penny is a loving mother and wife who is constantly concerned with the welfare of her family. Her main goal is to make sure everyone is happy, particularly her daughter Alice. She is a main character.

Essie Carmichael (played by Becca Bartley) Wife of Ed, daughter of Penny and Paul Sycamore, Granddaughter of Martin, sister of Alice. She is childish. As a hobby she makes candy that Ed sells. Essie dreams of being a ballerina. She has spent 8 years studying with Boris Kolenkhov, but is a terrible dancer.

Rheba (played by Emily Deck) The African-American maid and cook to the Sycamore family. She is treated almost like a part of the family. She is dating Donald. In the words of Mrs. Sycamore, "The two of them are really cute together, something like Porgy and Bess."

Paul Sycamore (played by Jeff Carmichael) Father of Essie and Alice, husband of Penny, Son-in-law of Martin. He is a tinkerer who manufactures fireworks in the basement with the help of his assistant Mr. De Pinna. His hobby is playing with erector sets.

Mr. De Pinna (played by Ron Creviston) The ice man who came inside to speak to Paul eight years before, and never left. He helps Mr. Sycamore build fireworks, and moonlights as a model in Mrs. Sycamore's paintings.

Ed Carmichael (played by Nathan Rollins) Husband of Essie, son-in-law of Paul and Penny. He is a xylophone player, and distributes Essie's candies. Ed is an amateur printer who prints anything that sounds good to him. He prints up dinner menus for his family and little quotes that he places in the boxes of Essie's candy. He also likes to make masks.

Donald (played by Tim Moore) The African-American boyfriend of Rheba, who seems to serve as volunteer handyman for the Sycamores.

Martin Vanderhof (played by Dave Fackler) Referred to mostly as Grandpa in the play. Father-in-law to Paul, father of Penny, grandfather of Alice and Essie. He is an eccentric happy old man who has never paid his income tax because he doesn't believe in it, as he feels that the government wouldn't know what to do with the money if he paid it. Once a very successful businessman, he left his job 35 years prior for no reason other than to just relax. He lives his life by the philosophy 'don't do anything that you're not going to enjoy doing'. He goes to circuses, commencements, throws darts, and collects stamps.

Alice Sycamore (played by Kirra Kempson) Fiancée of Tony Kirby, daughter of Paul and Penny, Granddaughter of Martin, sister of Essie. She is the only "normal" family member. She has an office job, and is rather embarrassed by the eccentricities of her family when she has Tony and his parents at her house, yet she still loves them. She tends to be a pessimist.

Wilbur C. Henderson (played by Greg Showalter) An employee of the IRS. He comes to collect the tax money owed by Grandpa, and can't understand why the latter won't pay income tax.

Tony Kirby (played by Jonathan Klassen) Fiancé of Alice, Son of Mr. and Mrs. Kirby. He sees how, even though the Sycamores appear odd, they are really the perfect family because they love and care about each other. His own family is very proper and has many issues none of them will admit. He is vice president of Kirby and Co.

Boris Kolenkhov (played by Lori Lavalle) Russian who escaped to America shortly before the Russian Revolution. He is very concerned with world politics, and the deterioration of Russia. He is the ballet instructor of Essie, aware that she is untalented at dancing, but knows that she enjoys dancing so he keeps working with her. He likes the Greeks and the Romans, questions society, and is interested in world affairs.

Gay Wellington (played by Rhonda Johnson) An actress whom Mrs. Sycamore meets on a bus and invites home to read one of her plays. She is an alcoholic, gets very drunk and passes out shortly after arriving at the Sycamore's home.

Anthony W. Kirby  (played by David Nidiffer) Husband of Mrs. Kirby, father of Tony. He is a very proper man who is president of Kirby and Co. and secretly despises his job. His hobby is raising expensive orchids. He is also a member of the Harvard Society, the Union Club, the National Geographic Society, and the Racquet Club.

Miriam Kirby (played by Nikki Lynch) Wife of Mr. Kirby, mother of Tony. She is an extremely prim and proper woman and is horrified by the goings-on in the Sycamore household. Her hobby is spiritualism.

G-Man 1 (The Man played by Jim Updike), G-Man 2 (Jim played by Roger Hodges), G-Man 3 (Mac played by Matt Whitt) Three agents who come to investigate Ed because of the communist quotes he prints up and places in Essie's candy boxes, such as "God is the State – the State is God".

The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina (played by Sue Rosecrans)  She was one of the Grand Duchesses of Russia before the Revolution, another being her sister, the Grand Duchess Natasha. Since then she has been forced to flee to America where she has found work as a waitress in Childs Restaurant. The rest of her family has had a similar fate, such as her Uncle Sergei, the Grand Duke, who is now an elevator man. She loves to cook as a hobby.

Show Information 

Thursday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. 
Friday, October 25 at & 7:00 p.m  
Saturday, October 26 at 2:00 & 7:00 p.m.
Friday, November 1 at 10:00 (school performace) & 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 2 at 7:00 p.m.  
Sunday, November 3 at 2:00 p.m.  


You Can't Take It with You is a comedic play in three acts by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The original production of the play premiered on Broadway in 1936, and played for 838 performances. The play won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and was adapted for the screen as You Can't Take It with You, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director. The play is popular among theater programs of high school institutions, and has been one of the 10 most-produced school plays every year since amateur rights came available in 1939.
 
The Vanderhof family at the center of You Can’t Take It with You is a collection of cheerful and erratic (yet lovable) incompetents. First, there’s Grandpa Martin Vanderhof, the salty and philosophical patriarch of this wacky family and a man who made his peace with the world, if not the Internal Revenue Service, long ago. Then there is his daughter, Penelope Sycamore (a cheerful and unpublished playwright, at least at the moment) and her husband, Paul (who happily manufactures fireworks in the cellar). The third generation consists of Penelope and Paul’s daughters and son-in-law: Essie Carmichael (the eternally optimistic, and inept, ballerina), her husband Ed (who has a passion for printing presses and xylophones), and Alice. Seemingly the only normal character in the household is Alice, a Wall Street secretary.

Into this whirlwind of activity comes Tony Kirby, Alice’s boyfriend, the son of her boss, and the epitome of normality and success in the business world. Tony is amused by Alice’s family and loves Alice in spite of the craziness in the family home. Alice, on the other hand, is sometimes merely chagrined, sometimes mortified by what happens when she brings Tony to the house. Despite the differences between the two families, Alice and Tony are soon engaged, and (over Alice’s protests) a dinner party is planned for Tony’s parents—at the Vanderhof home. Alice, of course, has misgivings about bringing Tony’s strait-laced parents into this maelstrom of activity: as she explained when she introduced Tony to her family: “I want him to take you in easy doses. I’ve tried to prepare him a little, but don’t make it any worse than you can help.” The family assures Alice that they will be on their best behavior, and the night is set.

However, as with most things in the Vanderhof family, things don’t go exactly as planned. Tony arrives with his parents in tow—but mistakenly arrives the night before the planned dinner party. And the Vanderhof tribe, rather than being on their best behavior are at their unplanned and hilarious worst. The Kirbys, predictably, are appalled at the wild unorthodoxy of the Vanderhofs, which presently results in the arrest of the family—and of the Kirbys themselves. Alice, convinced that the two families will never get along, determines to leave hers; but Tony, seeing something deeper in the family that his parents or perhaps even Alice don’t see, tries in vain to dissuade her and explains that he brought his parents to the party a night early on purpose: “I wanted [my parents] to see a real family—as they really were. A family that loved and understood each other.”

The Kirbys are angry at their son and disturbed that he could love such a family, but he insists that he still wants to marry Alice. Everything, eventually, is brought back to the important center by Grandpa, as he talks to Mr. Kirby and to Tony about what is really important and teaches everyone some vital lessons about life: “You’ve got all the money you need. You can’t take it with you. . . . And what’s it got you? Same kind of mail every morning, same kind of deals, same kind of meetings, same dinners at night, same indigestion. Where does the fun come in? Don’t you think there ought to be something more. . . . We haven’t got too much time, you know--any of us.”

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