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University production explores families – then and now, biological and chosen

Pulitzer Prize-winning play, You Can’t Take It With You, coming to Trinity Western stage
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Trinity Western University presents You Can’t Take It With You from March 21 to April 1. (Jef Gibbon, TWU/Special to Langley Advance Times)

You Can’t Take It With You cast member Hope Evans describes Trinity Western University latest play as a focus on family – both biological and found.

The fourth-year English major from Fort Langley is excited to be presenting award-winning play as one of the last few to be performed by the soon defunct TWU’s theatre department.

With its enduring themes of love and family, You Can’t Take It With You was a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that was revived on Broadway five times and was adapted as a movie winning the Academy Award for best picture and director in 1938.

Next week, the popular play arrives at TWU’s SAMC Theatre, directed by Kerri Norris.

Written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart during the 1930s Great Depression era and enjoyed by audiences around the world, You Can’t Take It With You inspires heart-warming emotions and raucous laughter while pointing to the lifelong sources of happiness in family and relationships, said Norris.

The story begins with Grandpa Vanderhof, who left his business 35 years ago and never looked back.

Head of the Sycamore household, he’s raised his family to live unabashedly as themselves, filling his home with love and happiness.

When his granddaughter, Alice, brings home the son of a Wall Street tycoon, the household’s idiosyncrasies threaten to keep them apart. Chaos and hilarity reign as these two families, so unalike in every way, find new ways to come together.

READ MORE: TWU theatre opens second last season before the department closes down in spring 2024

“Each member of the family has their unique passions and quirks, and everyone is welcomed and encouraged to be their truest self in the Sycamore household,” said Evans.

The theme of chosen family is what resonates the most with student actor Lex Diersch, a third-year theatre major from Maple Ridge.

“Chosen family is one of the most important things in my life and I don’t know where I’d be without these people and the love that they give.”

As the name of the play suggests, and as Aagaaz J.Sandhu, a third-year education major from Delta, observed, “This play is about following your passions and living a life that gives you personal joy rather than societies’ perspective on joy. This play also shows how family is not only defined by blood but also by love.”

You Can’t Take It With You run Tuesday, March 21 through Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays. People can get tickets online at www.twu.ca/theatre.

RELATED: Langley students write, direct, and showcase their talent in a collection of all-new, original plays

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Trinity Western University presents You Can’t Take It With You from March 21 to April 1. (Jef Gibbon, TWU/Special to Langley Advance Times)

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