You Can't Take It With You

AUDITIONS       November 20 & 21, 2022 (7:00 - 9:00pm)    
First Presbyterian Church
Green Street at 7th Avenue
Haddon Heights

DIRECTOR         Anita Rowland & Steve Allen

PERFORMANCES   (8) at First Presbyterian Church, February 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17 & 18, 2023


REHEARSALS - 3 evenings per week, Sun., Mon., Weds.; (Start November 27th)



"You Can’t Take It with You" relates the humorous encounter between a conservative family and the crazy household of Grandpa Martin Vanderhof. Grandpa’s family of idiosyncratic individualists amuse with their energetic physical antics and inspire with their wholehearted pursuit of happiness.


Martin Vanderhof: (Lead Role, Older Adult) The patriarchal head of the family and founder of their unconventional lifestyle. Grandpa Martin Vanderhof is in his 70s, a man whom the years have treated kindly. He made peace with the world 35 years earlier when he quit his job. Since then, he has done whatever makes him happy and encourages his family his family to follow his example. He provides the philosophical center of the play, explaining the folly of seeking material wealth at the expense of personal fulfillment

Penelope Sycamore: (Lead Role, Mature Adult) The daughter of Martin Vanderhof, mother of Essie and Alice, and wife of Paul; early 50s. Penelope is the fluttery, gentle lady of the house. She loves her family and life itself. After a typewriter is mistakenly delivered to her, she drops her old hobby of painting and begins to write plays. She does both very badly, but with style and good humor.

Paul Sycamore: (Supporting Role, Mature Adult) The husband of Penelope and father of Essie, mid-50s, but with a kind of youthful air. His quiet charm and mild manner are distinctly engaging, and he never loses his composure. However, under that unassuming exterior lies a man who lives for his fireworks–the ones he manufactures in the cellar.

Alice: (Supporting Role, Young Adult) The daughter of Penelope and Paul and sister of Essie. Alice is a lovely, fresh young girl in her early 20s who has escaped the tinge of insanity that pervades the Sycamore family. The only one with a regular job, Alice works in an office on Wall. She is devoted to her outlandish family, however, and generally approves of their lifestyles. Alice is in love with Tony Kirby but is afraid that their families will never get along.

Ed Carmichael: (Supporting Role, Adult) Essie’s husband, a nondescript young man in his early to mid-thirties. Ed plays the xylophone, operates an amateur printing press in the living room, and occasionally peddles Essie’s candies.

Anthony (Tony) Kirby, Jr.: (Supporting Role, Young Adult) The boyfriend and later fiancé of Alice. Tony Kirby is a personable young man in his early to mid-30s, not long out of Yale and Cambridge, and the new vice president of his father’s business where Alice works. Although he fits the stereotype of a boss’s son, he is a bit of an idealist and finds the Sycamores delightful, in contrast to his stodgy family.

Mr. Anthony Kirby, Sr. (Supporting Role, Mature Adult): Tony's father, a successful middle-aged Wall Street businessman in his 50s. He is a traditional authority figure who represents the conventional worldview the Vanderhof-Sycamores reject. Conservative and repressed, he has perpetual indigestion. He is initially shocked by Alice's family and says Grandpa Vanderhof's idea of doing only what makes you happy is dangerous and un-American.

Mrs. Miriam Kirby (Supporting Role, Mature Adult): Tony's mother, late 40s to mid-50s. Mrs. Kirby is the conservative female equivalent of her businessman husband. She, too, is shocked by the unconventional Vanderhof-Sycamores.

Boris Kolenkhov (Supporting Role, Adult): Essie’s dance teacher, a hearty, explosive, Russian ballet-master in his 40s to 50s. A stereotypically-depicted comic character, he contributes to the chaotic activity in the Vanderhof-Sycamore home, encouraging Essie to dance and wrestling with the unsuspecting Mr. Kirby. He has a habit of conveniently arriving just in time for meals. Russian accent required for role.

Rheba (Supporting Role, Adult): The maid in the Vanderhof household, an efficient, practical, and adaptable woman in her 30s. Rheba probably understands this unusual family better than anyone. She speaks her mind and holds her own within the eccentric household. She provides fairly objective commentary on the doings of the Sycamores.

Donald (Supporting Role, Adult): Rheba’s boyfriend, a cheerful man in his 30s who is at ease in the household. Donald is a comic character who willingly runs errands and occasionally offers amusing comments.

Mr. De Pinna (Supporting Role, Adult to Mature Adult): Eight years earlier, Mr. De Pinna was delivering ice to the Vanderhof, fell under the Sycamores’ spell, and stayed ever since. Now the mad genius of pyrotechnics helps out Paul in the cellar. He also models for Penny’s paintings. He remains undisturbed by the chaotic Sycamore household

Essie (Supporting Role, Adult): The daughter of Penelope and Paul, granddaughter of Martin Vanderhof, and wife of Ed; late 20s to early 30s. She splits her time between making new kinds of candy (successfully) and practicing to become a ballerina (unsuccessfully). The eternal student, she takes lessons from Boris Kolenkhov and is constantly dancing across the living room. The actress who plays Essie should have enough dance/ballet experience to perform convincingly.

Wilbur C. Henderson (Featured Role, Adult to Mature Adult): Henderson is the Internal Revenue Department agent who comes to collect twenty-two years' back income tax from Grandpa Vanderhof.

Gay Wellington (Featured Role, Adult): An actress whom Mrs. Sycamore meets on a bus and invites home to read one of her plays. Gay is an alcoholic, gets very drunk, and passes out shortly after arriving at the Sycamore’s home. Occasionally awakens, usually just in time to contribute to the chaos that erupts following the Kirbys’ unexpected visit.

The Grand Duchess Olga (Featured Role, Mature Adult): Russian friend of Kolehnkov's who has fallen on hard times following the Communist Revolution in Russia; mid 50s or older. She is now a waitress and has a talent for making blintzes. Russian accent required for role.

F.B.I. Agents (Featured Roles, Adult): The three F.B.I. agents (G-men) who come to investigate the seemingly political papers Ed Sycamore has been enclosing in candy boxes.


They will consist of brief readings from the script; no appointments and no special material required. Download an audition form.