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©2018 by Wandernook Theatre

Dec 7-8 Auditions for:

You Can't Take it With You

A play by Moss Hart and George S Kaufman

Directed by Molly Bower

You Can't Take It With You:

At first the Sycamores seem mad, but it is not long before we realize that if they are mad, the rest of the world is madder. In contrast to these delightful people are the unhappy Kirbys. The plot shows how Tony, attractive young son of the Kirbys, falls in love with Alice Sycamore and brings his parents to dine at the Sycamore home on the wrong evening. The shock sustained by the Kirbys, who are invited to eat cheap food, shows Alice that marriage with Tony is out of the question. The Sycamores, however, though sympathetic to Alice, find it hard to realize her point of view. Meantime, Tony, who knows the Sycamores are right and his own people wrong, will not give her up, and in the end Mr. Kirby is converted to the happy madness of the Sycamores, particularly since he happens in during a visit by an ex-Grand Duchess, earning her living as a waitress. No mention has as yet been made of the strange activities of certain members of the household engaged in the manufacture of fireworks; nor of the printing press set up in the parlor; nor of Rheba the maid and her friend Donald; nor of Grandpa's interview with the tax collector when he tells him he doesn't believe in the income tax. 

Audition Information

We can't wait to see you - break a leg!

Download The Audition Packet

Schedule Audition Date/Time

Audition Location

101 E Hunt Street, McKinney


~see character descriptions below~

THE CHARACTERS (7 female, 12 male)


Penelope Sycamore - early 50s female, all ethnicities

Usually goes by Penny, Penelope is the mother of Essie and Alice, wife of Paul, and daughter of Martin. She writes plays and paints as hobbies because it makes her happy, but is terrible at both. Penny is a loving mother and wife who is constantly concerned with the welfare of her family. Her main goal is to make sure everyone is happy, particularly her daughter Alice.


Paul Sycamore - mid-50s male, any ethnicity

Father of Essie and Alice, husband of Penny, son-in-law of Martin. He is a tinkerer who manufactures fireworks in the basement with the help of his assistant Mr. De Pinna. His hobby is playing with erector sets. He has a kind and youthful air - mild-mannered with a quiet charm. Disclosure - Shares an embrace with Alice.


Essie Carmichael - late 20s female, all ethnicities

Wife of Ed, daughter of Penny and Paul Sycamore, Granddaughter of Martin, sister of Alice. She is child-like. As a hobby she makes candy that Ed sells. Essie dreams of being a ballerina. She has spent 8 years studying with Boris Kolenkhov, but is a terrible dancer.


Ed Carmichael - early to mid-30s male, any ethnicity

Husband of Essie, son-in-law of Paul and Penny. He is a xylophone player, and distributes Essie's candies. Ed is an amateur printer who prints anything that sounds 'catchy' to him. He prints up dinner menus for his family and little quotes that he places in the boxes of Essie's candy. He also likes to make masks. Perhaps a bit naive.


Martin Vanderhof, or Grandpa - mid-70s male, Caucasian

Father-in-law to Paul, father of Penny, grandfather of Alice and Essie. He is an eccentric happy old man who has never paid his income tax because he doesn't believe in it, as he feels that the government wouldn't know what to do with the money if he paid it. Once a very successful businessman, he left his job 35 years prior for no reason other than to just relax. He lives his life by the philosophy "don't do anything that you're not going to enjoy doing". He goes to circuses, commencements, throws darts, and collects stamps.  Disclosure - Receives a kiss on the cheek from Alice.


Alice Sycamore - early 20s female, any ethnicity

Fiancée of Tony Kirby, daughter of Paul and Penny, granddaughter of Martin, sister of Essie. She is the only "normal" member of the extended family. She has an office job, and is rather embarrassed by the eccentricities of her family when she has Tony and his parents at her house, yet she still loves them. She tends to be a pessimist. Disclosure - Shares kisses with Tony, a kiss on the cheek with Grandpa and several embraces with multiple characters throughout the show.


Rheba - 30-39 female, African American

The maid and cook to the Sycamore family. She is treated like a part of the family. She is dating Donald, and wears her heart on her sleeve when it comes to him. In the words of Mrs. Sycamore, "The two of them are really cute together, something like Porgy and Bess." 


Donald - 30-39 male, African American

The boyfriend of Rheba, who seems to serve as volunteer handyman for the Sycamores. Very loving towards Rheba and has a friendly working relationship with the Sycamores.


Mr. De Pinna - any age male, any ethnicity

The ice man who came inside to speak to Paul eight years before, and never left. He helps Mr. Sycamore build fireworks, and moonlights as a model in Mrs. Sycamore's paintings.  The script says he is “a bald-headed little man with a serious manner.”


Wilbur C. Henderson - any age male, Caucasian

An employee of the IRS. He comes to collect the tax money owed by Grandpa, and can't understand why the latter won't pay income tax.


Tony Kirby - mid-20s male, any ethnicity

Fiancé of Alice, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kirby. He sees how, even though the Sycamores appear odd, they are really the perfect family because they love and care about each other. His own family is very proper and has many issues none of them will admit. He is vice president of Kirby and Co. Disclosure - Shares embraces and kisses with Alice.


Anthony W. Kirby - age 45-60 male, any ethnicity

Husband of Mrs. Kirby, father of Tony. He is a very proper man who is president of Kirby and Co. and secretly despises his job. His hobby is raising expensive orchids, and he is a member of several upper class organizations. Disclosure - Is the victim of a wrestling move by Kolenkhov which takes him down and causes an injury.


Miriam Kirby - age 45-60 female, any ethnicity

Wife of Mr. Kirby, mother of Tony. She is an extremely prim and proper woman and is horrified by the goings-on in the Sycamore household. Her hobby is spiritualism.


Boris Kolenkhov - early 40s or older male, any ethnicity, must look Russian

A Russian who escaped to America shortly before the Russian Revolution. He is very concerned with world politics, and the deterioration of Russia. He is the ballet instructor of Essie, aware that she is untalented at dancing, but knows that she enjoys dancing, so he keeps working with her. He admires the ancient Greeks and the Romans, questions society, and is interested in world affairs. Disclosure - Executes a wrestling move which takes Anthony Kirby to the ground. (must have Russian accent)


Gay Wellington - any age female, any ethnicity

An actress whom Mrs. Sycamore meets on a bus and invites home to read one of her plays. She is an alcoholic, gets very drunk, and passes out shortly after arriving at the Sycamore's home.


G-Man 1 (The Man), G-Man 2 (Jim), G-Man 3 (Mac) - any age, any ethnicity

Three agents who come to investigate Ed because of the communist origin of some of the 'catchy' quotes he printed and placed in Essie's candy boxes, such as "God is the State – the State is God".


The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina - early 50s or older female, any ethnicity, must look Russian

She was one of the Grand Duchesses of Russia before the Revolution, another being her sister, the Grand Duchess Natasha. Since then she has been forced to flee to America where she has found work as a waitress in Childs Restaurant. The rest of her family has had a similar fate, such as her Uncle Sergei, the Grand Duke, who is now an elevator operator. She loves to cook as a hobby. (must have Russian accent)

Molly Bower.jpg

Molly Bower is grateful to make her debut with Wandernook as director for this production.  Other directing credits include The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls at Lakeside Community Theatre, Sharing the Stage is Murder at Rover Dramawerks, and two short plays from Rover’s The Best of ODO, Half and Half and The Witches of Pigwarts.  Additionally, Molly assistant directed Wait Until Dark and The Toxic Avenger at Lakeside Community Theatre.  Molly’s earliest directing credits include revised versions of HersheyPark mainstage shows which she directed, produced, and starred in, alongside her younger cousin, in the attic bedroom of her grandmother’s house, long past her bedtime, hopped up on root beer floats.  She would like to thank her grandmother for sponsoring that whole endeavor. Molly has also performed on stage at many theatres throughout the metroplex, including Theatre Coppell, Runway Theatre, Rover Dramawerks, and Lakeside Community Theatre. She studied Beginner Meisner Technique at WaterTower Theatre under John Pszyk.  Most recently, she received a Column Award Nomination for her performance as Francesca in Bridges of Madison County at Theatre Coppell.  Molly mainly really really loves being at home, on her couch, next to her cat, bingeing her latest Netflix obsession.  That being said, she is immensely grateful to have an excuse to leave the house - to be a part of this production.