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Laugh the weekend away: “You Can’t Take It With You” premieres this weekend

Grab your tickets now to see the comedic play “You Can’t Take It With You”
Joanna Guerrero
Some of the cast and crew members on Monday Oct. 30 for the first day of tech week in English and drama teacher Mollie Jo Blahunka’s room. “Just looking around the room at how many people are here and how hard they’ve all been working and that so many of the elements were handmade and painted by students is amazing,” Blahunka said. “They are all so wonderful and really hard working. The motto of our department is that theater is a team sport, and I think everyone has been really good team players.”

Tech week has been underway for the production “You Can’t Take It With You” for the Ankeny drama production. This Friday, Nov. 2 is opening night for families and students to enjoy. 

“You Can’t Take It With You”, winner of the 1937 Pulitzer prize for drama, is a comedic play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. 

“The show is set in 1935, and it’s about a very kooky family that lives in New York. And anybody that has come to visit has just turned into family and sticks around. And they’re just really funny people,”  assistant drama director Patrick (PJ) Hurley said.  “One of the daughters is dating the son of a millionaire and the millionaire family comes over for dinner and everything that can go wrong goes wrong to where they actually all get arrested by the government.”

Blahunka says that the most important part of the play is that in theater, there is something called the spine of a play. It is like a thesis. Each show has a message they want to deliver. The cast and crew decided at the first rehearsal that the spine for them is to unite a family in joy. 

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The crowd is set to enjoy the interpretation put together by the Ankeny High cast and crew. 

“I think that every interpretation is going to bring something new,” Blahunka said. “I love the interpretation that our different characters have given to it, and I love the idiosyncrasies that each actor brings to their character which brings something new.”

The cast has been focusing on interpreting their characters and bringing them to life the past couple of weeks. 

“One of the most challenging things about bringing a script to life is playing with the characters’ dynamics,” senior Jenna Freeseman who plays Penelope (Penny) Sycamore in the play, said.  Sometimes, it takes a couple attempts to find the right way to say a sentence that fits the character, but is also believable from the actor.”

Junior Isabel Rabbs, who is a part of the hair and makeup crew, says that she is most excited for the crowd to see all the hard work that everyone’s been putting in. 

The days are long for all those involved in the play during tech week. It is the week where everything comes together from the past few weeks. 

“We’ll go until at least nine every night. We will start at four with the cast and crew meeting and then we’ll run some things on stage, not in costume or makeup. We’ll pause to eat dinner. Food is always one of the harder things to coordinate for us, but after dinner, we’ll get into full costume and makeup and then do a full run of the show,” Blahunka said. “But we call it Tech Week because it is when we’re incorporating all of the technical elements, so we’ll be doing a lot of things for the first time this week. There will be some hiccups, but that’s how it goes. We will make it work regardless.” 

The production crew and cast members hope that the crowd will enjoy it just as much as they do. 

“I just laugh. I’ve seen it over and over and over, and I still laugh even when I’m backstage,” Hurley said. “I’m not even watching the actress, but I start laughing at the lines.”

Freeseman says that the twists and turns of events within the household in the play will get many laughs from the audience.

“Even though it is from the ‘30s it is so so funny. It’s really just like an uproariously funny show,” Blahunka said. “During our first readthrough, the cast could not stop laughing, so it’s old but good. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.”

Showtimes will be Nov. 3 and 4 at 7:00 p.m. and Nov. 5 at 2:00 p.m.

Purchase your tickets here:

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About the Contributor
Joanna Guerrero, Social Media Editor
Joanna Guerrero is a senior at Ankeny High School. She serves as a social media editor but also specializes in writing stories for The Talon. Outside of The Talon, Joanna serves as president of Key Club, co-president of Mental Health Awareness club, vice-president of Student Council, and secretary of National Honor Society. She also participates in Student Ambassadors and Spanish Honor Society. In the future, Joanna plans to continue her education and pursue Journalism with a concentration in sports media. She looks forward to having Advanced Journalism next semester.
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