March 12, 2010
Director's Notes for You Can't Take It With You!
For our production of Kaufman and Hart's popular comedy, You Can't Take It With You, we welcome third-year MFA in Acting student Ryan Clemens as our student director. Ryan is in the direction concentration of our MFA Acting program and has been seen on our mainstage playing Petkoff in Arms and the Man, Strauss in Spinning Into Butter, O’Reilly in Musical Comedy Murders, Mrs. Chauvenet in Harvey, Arnold in The Boys Next Door (thesis role), and most recently as Touchstone the clown in As You Like It. A true connoisseur of comedy, here are Ryan's notes about his production of You Can't Take It With You, opening this weekend:
"The old saying is true: you never see a U-Haul behind a hearse because. . . you can’t take it with you!
Yet our play’s title is more than a punch line. It’s a bit of age-old advice to put in your pocket and take home.
Some take the sentiment as a justification for hedonism, indulgence and greed—as in the remark, 'Well, you can’t take it with you, so let’s spend it all and PARTY!' but through Kaufmann and Hart’s classic comedy we see the motto 'You Can’t Take It With You' as something very different. When first produced in 1936, the play and its title projected a heart-felt optimism, calling out to a nation worn down by the Great Depression. Now that we’re in 2010, with our current economic situation. . . well, it turns out that heart-felt optimism is still particularly relevant.
From a Christian perspective, we also note that the message is rather similar to Paul’s in his first letter to Timothy: a reminder that we brought nothing into this world; we can take nothing out of it. So, as long as we have food and shelter, shouldn’t we also have joy, laughter and celebration? Shouldn’t we also have prayers of thanks to the Man Upstairs, the Keeper of the Lilies of the Field, the Giver of All Good Things?!
We hope that, like Grandpa Vanderhof, you’ll also find joy, laughter, celebration, and lots of reason for praise—both in today’s presentation and in your own life. From our loony and loving family to yours, we say, enjoy!"
Don't miss this show, which runs through March 21st! Call the box office at 757-352-4245 or visit our website for tickets.