Spinning Gender in WCT’s You Can’t Take It With You

Waukesha Civic Theatre is taking a “gender spin” in its revival of the Kaufman and Hart’s comedy You Can’t Take It With You. It’s still 1938 but the eccentric Sycamore clan will be headed by a matriarch called “Nana”. New Berlin-based veteran actress Antoinette Stikl will step into the shoes of the typically male role when the play opens on October 18.

“This beloved, Pultizer-prize-winning comedy has been a revival favorite for theatres of all kinds since its premiere almost 77 years ago,” says first-time WCT director, John Kibler. In his research for the play, which premiered in December 1936, the idea of casting a woman in the patriach’s role took shape because all the historical information supported the idea so well.

“Often during the Depression, women stepped into men’s traditional role of family breadwinner out of necessity,” says Kibler, “given that many men refused clerical and secretarial jobs that were typically identified with women.” The rapid growth of the New Deal in the early 1930’s lead to the first female cabinet secretary in American history (Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor) and expanded working opportunities for all working women (not to mention the two million unemployed in 1933) dealing with the economic and social challenges of the Great Depression.

“The affirmation of individuality that lies at the heart of this play,” says Kibler, “creates the perfect environment for Nana Vanderhoff to share the Sycamore family’s belief in charm, wisdom, eccentricity, innocence, selflessness and good will to a 21st century audience.” Eager to forget the bad news at home and the worse news abroad, people flocked to You Can’t Take It With You when it opened in 1936 for a much needed laugh. Nana Vanderhoff will provide that same experience for a 21st century audience eager for exactly the same thing.

Come check it out between October 26th and November 3rd! For more information, including pricing and show times, please feel free to contact our Box Office at 262.547.0708 or boxoffice@waukeshacivictheatre.org or visit our website: waukeshacivictheatre.org

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Posted on October 8, 2013, in You Can't Take It With You and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Spinning Gender in WCT’s You Can’t Take It With You.

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