The Fremont High School Drama Department is looking to bring smiles to families this weekend as it debuts its spring play.
The drama department will stage its rendition of “You Can’t Take It With You,” a comedy first produced in 1936 and written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Nell McPherson Theatre.
The story is based on the eccentric Sycamore family and their group of friends who spend their time pursuing hobbies such as collecting snakes and building homemade fireworks.
The play is centered on Alice Sycamore, the granddaughter of Martin Vanderhof.
Vanderhof is seen as the head of the Sycamore family. When Alice becomes engaged to Tony Kirby, the vice president of the company Alice works for, the Sycamore family must learn to straighten up as it prepares to meet the conservative Kirby family.
It’s a comedy filled with disaster and a meaningful lesson, according to FHS Drama Teacher Caitie Hays.
“It’s all about family,” she said. “The title comes from a line that Grandpa says at the end of the show. He’s talking to the dad of the boy that his granddaughter loves and, the dad’s all straight laced and works for Wall Street, and the grandpa said in regard to money and possessions: ‘You can’t take it with you, so why not live you life the way you want to live it.’”
Hays said the message from the production was such a strong one that she knew she needed to bring it to FHS.
“There were so many bad things going on during quarantine last year when we were picking this out,” she said. “One of the things that it kind of forced on all of us was we spent a lot of time with our families because we didn’t go to work all the time and stuff like that. I think it kind of taught all of us a little bit to slow down, and that there are other things in life that are not school and work. You can spend time with the people you love.”
Hays said around 60 to 70 students auditioned for this spring’s production. That number has grown exponentially since Hays began teaching at FHS.
Because of the increased interest in participating in the school’s spring production, Hays said she wanted to choose a play that allowed for a larger cast.
“These kids are all so talented and have all this potential, so it’s so difficult to do a small cast show,” she said. “But again, I just felt that with everything going on this year, we didn’t need something, especially for a spring play to end the year, that was was sad or depressing.”
The school has had a hard enough time pushing through a year under the umbrella of COVID-19. Hays said it was important to celebrate the work of the students.
She said there was no better way to do that then put together a strong spring production, especially after last year’s play was canceled due to the pandemic.
“This is my first spring play because last year’s play was canceled,” she said. “ ... I think the thing that I’m most excited about is that in this spring play, we get to have 50% capacity in our auditorium and I just think the students have craved that all year.”
The opportunity to perform in front of a crowd is feeding the students as they prepare for opening night, Hays said.
“We need to feel like we’re doing this for a purpose,” she said. “We do it because we get to provide two hours where we create a world that people get to escape into and I just think that we’ve missed that this year.”
Those interested in purchasing either in-person or virtual tickets to this weekend’s performances can be purchased at: https://fremont.booktix.com/?fbclid=IwAR0igedEV4b_rLftqWrpCC2oG4qJQg0BkBqnot4plsOqY8RjLwPMUATC44Q.