Warren Wilson College News

Warren Wilson Theatre to stage “You Can’t Take It with You” Nov. 5-9

Warren Wilson Theatre, in its first production of the 2008-2009 “Season of Change,” presents “You Can’t Take It with You,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedic play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The production will be presented at Kittredge Theater, on the Warren Wilson College campus, Nov. 5-8 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 9 at 2 p.m.

The play’s original production opened at the Booth Theater on Broadway on Dec. 14, 1936, and played for 837 performances. The play was also the basis for Frank Capra’s Academy Award-winning film of the same name.

Brooks Atkinson, reviewing the play for The New York Times, wrote: “It is a study in vertigo about a lovable family of hobby-horse riders, funny without being shrill, sensible without being earnest…it is written with a dash of affection to season the humor and played with gaiety and simple good spirit.” At first the Sycamore family seems mad, but it is not long before we realize that if they are mad, the rest of the world is madder.

Ron Bashford is directing the Warren Wilson Theatre production. In his opinion, the play is "a masterful and shrewd blend of satire and sentimental comedy that transcends its commercial origins. With a near-perfect dramatic structure, the play is one of the best examples of a moment in American theatrical history when popular idiom and artistic intent merged seamlessly and successfully… plus, it’s one of the most enjoyable plays I know."

Bashford, a Warren Wilson faculty member since 2006, teaches acting, directing, voice and speech, and other courses about theatrical form and collaboration. He also advises senior projects and works on theatre program development. He has directed productions in New York City and at regional theatres, including 10 productions for the North Carolina Stage Company.

In 2003, Bashford won the Mountain Xpress award for Best Productions for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and “Hamlet” at NC Stage. A graduate of Amherst College and the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware, he is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. His previous work at Warren Wilson includes “Arcadia” and “Our Town.”

The large cast of the Warren Wilson Theatre production of “You Can’t Take It with You” is composed of 16 undergraduate students – seven of whom are theatre/English majors – and two faculty members. Theatre/English Majors are also involved in designing sound, stage managing and assistant directing the production. Scenery and lighting are being designed by Don Baker, whose experience includes more than 100 scenery and lighting designs. Beverly Ohler, who has worked on more than 160 shows with Warren Wilson Theatre, is the costume designer.

For the first time, the Warren Wilson College Department of Theatre is offering free tickets to all area students – not just Warren Wilson students. General admission is $10. Tickets for Warren Wilson faculty, staff, alumni and all seniors are $5. To make reservations or for more information, call 828-771-3040 or e-mail theatre@warren-wilson.edu. More information is also available here.

The Department of Theatre’s activities are oriented around creative collaboration, ensemble technique, critical thinking and community service. The department offers students a coordinated program of experiential and academic-style learning, combined with individual attention, realized creative work, service learning and contact with professionals. Both majors and non-majors participate in frequent theatrical productions.

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