It’s the Great Depression. The rich are getting richer and everyone else wishes they were getting rich. Except for members of the Sycamore family, who know that You Can’t Take it With You.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufmann will be staged at Sacramento State’s Playwrights’ Theatre at 8 p.m., Nov. 12-13 and 19-20; 2 p.m., Nov. 14 and 21; and 6:30 p.m., Nov. 17 and 18.
Directed by Theatre and Dance Professor Michelle Felten, the Sycamore family is the picture of eccentricity. Father Paul manufactures fireworks in the basement and plays with erector sets; mother Penny writes plays and paints; and Grandpa Vanderhof keeps pet snakes and has never paid his income taxes.
They all eschew the pursuit of riches in favor of living a simpler, happier life.
Daughter Alice is the only family member working, and she’s fallen in love with the boss’s son, who comes from a very wealthy family. And when they come to visit, fireworks symbolically and literally erupt.
With its themes of coping with uncertain economic times, You Can’t Take it With You has something to say to modern audiences.
“It has incredible relevance today,” Felten says. “It couldn’t be more relevant. “Let’s face it, today we are all looking at financial uncertainty, so you have to ask yourself if all the focus on material wealth nowadays is worth it. Grandpa Vanderhof makes a strong argument for living a simpler life. “
Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. performances are $8 general admission and $5 for children under 12 years of age. All other performances are $12 general admission; $10 for students, seniors and Sac State employees; and $8 for children. Tickets are available at the University Ticket Office, (916) 278-4323 or www.tickets.com.
For more information, visit www.csus.edu/dram/season.html or call (916) 278-3569. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.