Memorable characters such as an under-talented ballerina, an accidental novelist, a tax-dodging patriarch, a Grand Duchess, and a group of G-men take the stage in UTC Theatre Company’s production of the American comedy classic, You Can’t Take It with You.

Sponsored by the First Tennessee Foundation, the production runs from November 19 through November 23. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on the 23rd and are held in the Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre in the Fine Arts Center.

This Pulitzer prize-winning play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart first premiered in 1936 and challenged the notions of expectations, worth, and the American Dream following the Great Depression.

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As the hilarious personalities of their families clash around Alice and her fiancé Tony (played by Kristina Lumm and Austin Blackburn), the ideas of success and happiness are turned upside down, according to Gaye Jeffers, Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre.

“As we meet each day, the level of contentment and happiness we feel is sometimes based on societal pressures and artificially constructed benchmarks.  As we end the year 2013, You Can’t Take It with You can serve our community as a warm, gentle reminder that life is more than money and materials.  Life is about people,” says Jeffers.

One unique quality of the production is allowing the audience to see into the makeup and costume process, as twenty-something year old actors are transformed into elderly characters right on stage

“We wanted to take the expectations of a ‘standard’ production of this show and throw them out and see how we could make it uniquely a UTC Theatre Company production.  So, we are bringing a contemporary stylistic sensibility to the production by making it somewhat self-aware and seeing how that can add to the humor,” says Steve Ray, Head of the Department of Theatre and Speech.

In addition to Lumm and Blackburn, You Can’t Take It with You features student cast members Haley Talley, Emanuel Clark, Courtney Tucker, Falcian Page, Kimberly Skoda, Gabriel Bailey, Calvin Forrest, Sean Henon, Rebecca Rouse, Haley Wilson, Brandon Vaque, John Nichols, Cricket Glenn, Sophis Zincann, Matthey Erwin, Eryn Haber, Mason DeGroot and Nathan Dyar.  The show is designed by faculty members John Burgess, Adam Miecielica and Stephanie Henderson.  Student Erin England is the Stage Manager.

Tickets are $10 for students and seniors, $12 general admission, and are available at the UTC Box Office in the Fine Arts Center, online at tickettracks.com, or at (423) 425-4269.

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