Sometimes ‘You Just Can’t Take it With You’

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Jonah Ericson, freshman in theatre and playing Paul Sycamore, and Kelsey Coffroth, senior in secondary education and playing Penny Sycamore during the final dress rehearsal of "You Can't Take It With You " in Chapman Theatre on April 24, 2015. (Nicholas Cady | The Collegian)

K-State Theatre presents “You Can’t Take it With You,” written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman and guest directed by Ross Evans this weekend.

“It has been delightful and fun to be working with students, it’s like getting back to the fundamentals of directing,” Evans said.

According to the show’s program in the guest director’s biography, Ross Evans is a New York City-based playwright and director. Evans has been an associate and an assistant on “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” “Venus in Fur” and “White Christmas” on Broadway.

“In the professional world creating a show is all about the production, getting it perfect; whereas in college, the show is all about the process and what happens next in the students’ lives, what they are learning from their experience,” Evans said.

According to his biography, Evans has written full-length plays such as “Finger Paint,” “Team Awesome” and “Playing with Charlie.” Ross has worked in many places across the U.S. and even in Japan.

“It has been a great learning experience working with Ross,” Hannah Miller, senior in theater, and assistant director of “You Can’t Take it With You,” said.

“You Can’t Take it With You” is a 1937 Pulitzer Prize-winning comedic play. The story is about a girl from an unusual family who falls in love with a man involved in the corporate world.

The show quickly begins creating an enthusiastic atmosphere. The minute the lights go up, the quirkiness of the family sets in with Penelope Sycamore writing a play at her typewriter.

”One take away from this show is that life is only enjoyable if you are happy doing what you are doing,” Kelsey Coffroth, senior in secondary education who plays Penelope, said.

Alice, one of the Sycamore daughters, seems to be the only normal member of her family, and is sometimes embarrassed of how her family acts. Deep down, though, she still loves them. Alice invites her fiancé Tony Kirby and his family over for dinner, which turns out to be a rather outrageous meal.

in the second act of the show, Tony, played by Darrington Clark, junior in mass communications, is trying to get Alice back.

Tony’s father, Mr. Kirby, played by Mark Young, junior in theater, shows up and tells his son the marriage will not happen because the families are too different.

This is when Martin Vanderhoff, or simply Grandpa, played by Clay Massingill, sophomore in theater, steps in and shares the idea that life is pretty simple if you just relax.

The final dress rehearsal held on Wednesday night was open to all theater majors as a preview.

“The show was really great, especially how the cast that large interacted,” Nicholas Schoonover, freshman in theater, said. “Ross and the cast did a good job.”

The cast said they agreed what they have learned from the show and what the audience will hopefully take away is that you can’t take it with you.

The show runs tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and next week at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and Sunday at 2:30 p.m in the Mark A. Chapman Theatre.

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