Preview: ‘You Can’t Take It With You’


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TheatreUNI’s production of “You Can’t Take It With You” opened this Wednesday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Strayer-Wood Theatre. Its eight-show run continues this Thursday and Friday night and March 25-29. Actors in this production include (L-R) Steve Taft (Martin Vanderhof), Abigail Chagolla (Mrs. Kirby), Collin Ridgley (Tony Kirby), Mikayla Wahl (Alice Sycamore), Alex Overturf (Henderson), Hannah Twitchell (Penelope Sycamore), Kyle Chizek (Paul Sycamore) and more.


TheatreUNI opened their production of the award-winning Kaufman and Hart farce “You Can’t Take It With You” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11 in the Strayer-Wood Theatre. The show will continue its run for seven more performances on Thursday, March 12, Friday, March 13 and March 25-29, all at 7:30 p.m. in the Strayer-Wood Theatre.

In a press release, Jim Bray, UNI assistant professor of acting and director of the show, said, “‘You Can’t Take It with You’ is an exciting fusion of humor, history and politics told through some very brightly colored characters, which allows our student actors to explore and experience deep character work and the challenging style of comedic farce.”

“The play is a character-driven comedy that centers on the engagement of Alice Sycamore and Tony Kirby – two young lovers who were raised by families with opposing ideologies. When the supremely upper-crust Kirbys accompany Tony to dinner at the Sycamore household on the wrong night, the Sycamore family is seen in all their vivacious and outrageous glory,” the press release states.

“Throughout our rehearsal process, we talked a lot about love versus fear,” Dani Schmaltz (Gay Wellington), a sophomore theatre performance and drama & theatre for youth major, said. “‘You Can’t Take It With You” is set in the midst of the Great Depression and the paranoia surrounding communism; however, the Sycamore family is able to maintain their happy little bubble because they choose love over fear.

“It’s astonishing to see how many parallels can be drawn between a script from the 1930’s and our modern society. The issues we’re facing today are only escalating, and it seems we all need a little bit of what the Sycamores have. I hope that audiences will come in for a laugh, and leave a little happier — and with a little more room in their hearts,” Schmaltz said.

Tickets for “You Can’t Take It With You” are available at any UNItix location or at the Strayer-Wood box office, one hour before curtain time. Tickets are $20 for adults, $12 for UNI faculty/staff and free for UNI students with their UNI ID.

“It’s been an absolute joy to work on this production, largely in part of the cast. We get along so well as a company, and that camaraderie has allowed us to really dive headfirst into these eclectic characters and build strong relationships on and offstage,” Schmaltz said. “We spend a lot of hours in rehearsal together and I think it speaks volumes that we still get together as a cast during our time off.”