Preparations for the fall play are nearly complete – Come and see “You Can’t Take It With You!”

By David Arenstam and Lauren Mesley

SACO – It must be getting close to opening night.

The empty set is nearly ready for the actors to take the stage at the Harry S. Garland Auditorium and the performances of “You Can’t Take it With You!” 

This year, the Thornton Academy Players’ fall production of “You Can’t Take It With You” will run from November 9 until November 11 and all shows will begin at 7 p.m. in the Harry S. Garland Auditorium. Tickets for all performances are $5 and may be purchased online at:
TinyURL.com/ta-fallplay-2017

Those of us who have spent countless hours rehearsing the same show should be sick of it by now, the way drivers often get sick of hearing the same two songs on the radio every day. But, this play has a moral so important in the world today that most of us agree, we don’t hate the listening to the show, just quite yet.

Which leaves the question . . . what is the moral of the story?

I thought we’d ask the director and cast members for their take on this classic play.

“What does the message of the show mean to you?”

David Hanright (Director)
“What can’t you take with you? The money, of course, that’s what Grandpa alludes to. But it’s deeper than that. Tony hits it when he says he brought his parents to see a normal family how they really are.

The play is an homage to love, life, and the pursuit of happiness – not surprisingly set near the fourth of July. It’s an American ideal, but for the ideal Americans the playwrights put forward – complete with good old-fashioned American racism and an American view of communism . . . the corrupt aristocrats of a former imperial state are no longer regal – but the playwrights create sympathetic characters in them. Of course, look how communism turned out!

If you can get past the social commentary in the context of the time period in which it was written, you will find it is a kind play about loving life and being able to love who you want despite social class and behavioral norms. It’s also an excellent example of situation comedy. The characters play it straight. It’s the situation they find themselves in that is funny, and watching the many different characters parading through the house only adds to the fun.
The TA Player’s production aims to find the fun and joy in the story. We want the audience to leave the theater smiling and singing!” 

Faculty members, Jenifer Witherell-Stebbins, David Hanright, and Ian Purvis, watch as the TA Players prepare for their upcoming performances.

Delaney Ziegman. (Penny Sycamore)
“The message of the show is really just to not take things so seriously; there are important things in life – family, happiness, and fulfillment. Money isn’t necessarily one of them. I think that’s a really important component of my life because sometimes those who seem to be unmotivated or aimless are only making time for what’s important.”

Lindsay Armstrong. (Alice Sycamore)
“This show has a few big messages but the one that really stands out for me is to do what you love. The character Grandpa tries to convince Mr. Kirby to do what he loves, not what he feels obligated to do. This message means a lot to me because sometimes it’s hard for me to decide whether I should do something that others tell me to do, or if I should do what I really love to do. I care too much about what other people think, so, I do what others want me to do instead of what I want me to do, all the time. Mr. Kirby cares too much about his company, instead of his family. Grandpa sends many amazing messages and this is just one of them.”

Daniel Laverriere. (Anthony (Tony) Kirby Jr.)
“”You Can’t Take It With You” has a message that is still true today – our time in this world isn’t unlimited. Mr. Kirby is the character who learns this the most. After wasting years of his life at the office and ultimately realizing he is unhappy, he realizes that there is something more. The Vanderhof/Sycamore family was raised to do what they love and what brings them happiness – something traditional families often overlook. For me, this show is something everyone can learn from. Although it’s a comedy, audience members will relate to Mr. Kirby’s situation, and walk away thinking about how they are spending their time.”


As opening night approaches, the members of the cast work to refine their lines and scenes from the play. 

Abby Dell’Erba. (Stage Manager)
“”You Can’t Take It With You” is a play written about an abnormal family living their lives as if the outside world doesn’t exist. In their living room, basement, and kitchen, they live their lives focusing on the smaller things in life that make them happy. Alice brings in a family from the outside world, which changes the family’s story and the events that happen. It creates a whole new perspective for every character, shows the meaning of doing things that make you happy, not just because you were born into it, and it makes you a lot of money. I believe the purpose of this story is to express the fantastic difference between the families and how each perceives life as a whole. It is written so that anyone and any group performing this play might have fun with this family, and bring the storyline to life. God is the state, the state is God.”

Braden Foley. (Grandpa Martin Vanderhof)
“The message of the show is to not get all caught up in stressful everyday life. Instead, seize the day. Live every day like it’s your last. “Just relax.” I try to live by this motto every day because I do believe that life isn’t worth living if you don’t have something to look forward to, something to strive for, without trying to give up the fun things in life.”


This year, the Thornton Academy Players’ fall production of “You Can’t Take It With You” will run from November 9 until November 11 and all shows will begin at 7 p.m. in the Harry S. Garland Auditorium. Tickets for all performances are $5 and may be purchased online at:
TinyURL.com/ta-fallplay-2017

YCTIWY Banner02Smaller.jpg

This year, the Thornton Academy Players’ fall production of “You Can’t Take It With You” will run from November 9 until November 11 and all shows will begin at 7 p.m. in the Harry S. Garland Auditorium. Tickets for all performances are $5 and may be purchased online at:
TinyURL.com/ta-fallplay-2017

David Arenstam

About David Arenstam

Originally from away, but here to stay - Maine is my home and I love writing stories about the people and places from my end of the state. I am a teacher and writer and my first novel, "Homecoming: A Soldier's Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption" is available now at www.BrysonTaylorPublishing.com