Room A3 in the basement of East Quad is one of the most interesting rooms on campus. And if you haven”t been down there, then it”s certainly worth a visit. Dozens of costumes, student-made murals and a large assortment of props are what you”ll find in the unique environment. A3 is the home of the RC Players: The birthplace of running gags, late-night rehearsals and above all else, high-quality theater.
This weekend, the Players are bringing the wacky comedy, “You Can”t Take it With You,” to the East Quad Auditorium. Written in 1936 by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, the play focuses on the screwball Vanderhof family, led by stamp-collecting patriarch Martin. Portrayed by LSA Sophomore Nat Topping, Martin is a Wall Street retiree who doles out life lessons, whether welcomed or not, to his family. His daughter Penny writes plays because a typewriter was accidentally delivered to the house, while crazy houseguest Mr. DePinna lights fireworks in the Vanderhof basement.
The only “normal” character in the family is Martin”s granddaughter, Alice, a secretary at a Wall Street firm. Alice falls in love with her boss, Anthony P. Kirby, but is afraid to show him to her embarrassing family. An engagement party for the pair turns disastrous as the Vanderhofs meet the Kirbys, leading to some of the play”s hilarious moments.
“I think that Martin is the person that people would like to be, Mr. Kirby is the person that most people are, and Alice really sort of represents the happy medium between the two,” said the play”s director, RC Sophomore Megan Garza.
“You Can”t Take it With You” really lets the cast shine and the RC Players are excited to perform it. “It”s great to have all these crazy characters bouncing off each other,” said Topping. “The quirkiness of the actors is going to make this a good production.”
Bringing “You Can”t Take it With You” to the stage was a hands-on process for the entire cast. Each member helped with publicity, building the set and discussing scene changes. This close-knit working environment was instrumental in bringing the play to life. “It”s cool to have that intermingling of roles because you get to know everybody better you just learn so much about every aspect of theater,” said assistant director and RC Sophomore Carol Gray.
For Garza, the play was an opportunity to direct with little prior experience. And for Topping, a South Quad resident, it was a chance to meet the people in the RC. “Working creatively with all these crazy people has been really important to me because that”s what I really like doing,” he said.
But more than anything, the RC Players enjoy the fact that “You Can”t Take it With You” is an entirely student-run production. Such shows foster a great deal of imagination and input things the Players thrive on. “In the RC you get this feeling that whatever you do will be supported,” said Topping. “I think that”s what the RC is most about accepting these possibilities and making them happen.”