A collaboration by playwrights George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, “You Can’t Take It With You” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1936 and ran 837 performances on Broadway. The play is considered an American classic, regularly produced by high schools, colleges and community theaters around the country.
A 1938 film version won an Academy Award for best picture. Most critics credit Kaufman and Hart for inventing the formula used by many of today’s TV sitcoms – a loveable family overcoming a variety of obstacles and trouble.
The Troup High production, directed by Carol Cain, takes place in the living room of grandpa Martin Vanderhof’s home in New York City during the summer of 1937. Audiences meet the eccentric members of grandpa’s family: his daughter Penny, a budding playwright; his son-in-law Paul; Mr. DePinna, the former ice man who makes fireworks in the basement; granddaughter Essie, who fancies herself a dancer; Essie’s husband Ed, who busies himself at either the printing press or the xylophone; and granddaughter Alice, who has fallen in love with Tony Kirby, her boss’s son.
Trouble comes when Tony and his conservative parents arrive a night early for dinner with Alice and her family. Add a Russian ballet teacher, a grand duchess, an irate IRS agent, the Justice Department, an inebriated actress, a lovable housekeeper and her boyfriend and life with the Vanderhof-Sycamore family grows more madcap than ever.
“When selecting our season of plays, I was immediately drawn to this show because of its characters and the predicaments they face in their pursuit of happiness,” said Cain, now in her second season as director of the THS drama program. “This play has given our cast a chance to try on some delightful characters and fill the stage with chaotic activity.”
The cast includes both veterans of the THS stage and newcomers. On stage for this production are Jordan Carter, Joshua Ciarlante, Kaitlin Cooley, Kevin Floyd, Blake Harcey, Laura Harmon, Laken Harville, Shelby Holcomb, Logan Huerta, Preston Kemp, Jordan Lawson, E Logan, Joscelyn Marshall, Kalah Mingo, PJ Murphy, Jefferson Scroggs, Travis Shelnutt, Tava Strozier and Mark Todd.
The play’s set was designed by THS junior Wade Anderson, a Governor’s Honor’s nominee in technical theatre. Serving as stage manager is Angel Aguilar with Sarah McDonald as assistant stage manager. Additional crew members include Danielle Hood, Stephen Thompson, Callie Slack and Amber Butler.
Admission prices are $5 for students and $8 for adults.