The Santa Ynez High School Little Theatre presents You Can’t Take It With You

The Santa Ynez High School Theatre Group is presenting the Kaufman & Hart screwball comedy masterpiece, You Can’t Take It With You. Winner of the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the play is set in the home of Martin “Grandpa” Vanderhoff and his eccentric extended family. Grandpa’s granddaughter, Alice, brings the ‘normal’ world into the house in the form of her boss’s son, Tony, setting off a chain of comedic incidents that will occur when such worlds collide.

You Can’t Take It With You is the crowning achievement of playwrights George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, one of the most successful playwrighting teams in American Theatre history. It won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama after a two-year, 838-performance run on Broadway. It went on to be awarded the 1938 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director (Frank Capra). It is one of the most popular and oft-performed American plays and has had several successful revivals on Broadway.

The play has acted as a cornerstone of Theatre Group founder and director Jeff McKinnon’s own theatre career, having performed twice as the eccentric Russian exile Boris Kolenkhov. This will be the third time McKinnon has directed it for The Theatre Group, the first in 2002, and again in 2011. The play, though dated in places, still evokes laughter and captures hearts with its downright subversive insistence on individuality, knowing oneself, and tailoring one’s lives around happy pursuits.

McKinnon adds, “This play has acted as a template for the “situation comedy”: from I Love Lucy to All in the Family; from Friends to Arrested Development, the ghosts of Kaufman & Hart and of the eccentric inhabitants of the home of Martin Vanderhof are well evident. The play reminds us to be present; to be mindful of the moment; to create joy; and to choose the path of love over the path of duty, because, well, you really can’t take any of it with you. It is a powerful reminder to those of us on the threshold of the great mystery that life is fleeting and all things come to an end. “

You Can’t Take It With You performs Thursdays through Saturdays, April 18th-20th and 25th-27th at 7:00. General Admission tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and will be available at the door starting at 6:30. This play is appropriate for all ages of theatre goers. For more information contact the director at

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