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1930s Comedy "You Can't Take It With You" Staged at SUNY New Paltz

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NEW PALTZ -- "You Can't Take It With You," a farcical play by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, has withstood the test of time. Now, over half a century after its debut on Broadway, The Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz will present its own production of this hilarious Pulitzer Prize-winner. The two-week run of "You Can't Take It With You" begins on Thursday, October 5, 2000 in McKenna Theatre on the SUNY campus.

"You Can't Take It With You" takes place on the day that Alice Sycamore introduces her own family to the family of her fiancée, Tony Kirby. The Kirbys are a wealthy, stuffy family of great self-importance, while the Sycamores are a collection of good-hearted lunatics. When the two families come together, lifestyle and philosophy collide head-on, resulting in comical, yet meaningful situations.

For the students involved, this production affords an opportunity to explore the political and cultural climate of the 1930s. Special attention has been given to the light-hearted humanism that reverberates throughout "You Can't Take It With You" - a theme which is exemplified by the values and lifestyle of the Sycamores. Also, stereotypes that were accepted at the time and were present in the original production have been examined. "Moss Hart and George Kaufman's characters have become both archetypes and cliches," according to Director and Theatre Arts Professor Simone Federman. "It is with this in mind that we have approached our production. Informed by our study of commedia d'ell arte, slapstick, and 1930s films and comic books, we intend to illuminate the origins of these ethnic and gender stereotypes."

Evening performances of "You Can't Take It With You," which begin at 8:00 PM, are presented Thursday through Saturday, October 5-7 and 11-14. In addition, matinee performances are presented on Sunday, October 8 and 15. These matinees begin at 2:00 PM. The box office, located in McKenna Theatre, is open 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM on week days, and one hour prior to each performance.

On Friday, October 6, at 7:00 PM the Department of Theatre Arts will host a Friday Night Forum. Friday Night Forum is a free event, in which a special guest is invited to discuss a topic relevant to the production. Following that evening's performance, the audience is invited to meet the cast and director for a post-show Q and A.

Tickets to all performances are $12 for the general public and $10 for senior citizens. Advance ticket purchases may be made beginning September 21 through the McKenna Theatre Box Office by calling 845/257-3880. Tickets may be purchased over the phone with a MasterCard or VISA, or in person at the ticket window with cash, check or credit card. McKenna Theatre is wheelchair accessible; please inform a box office representative of any special needs.

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Note to editors: Press photos of the production are available at the following address: Photo caption can be used for any photo: Tony Kirby (Angelo J. Miliano) and his fiancee Alice Sycamore (Nia Curran McGovern) return home after an evening at the ballet in "You Can't Take It With You" the 1930s comedy by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. Performed in McKenna Theatre, October 5 - 15 and produced by the Department of Theatre Arts, SUNY New Paltz. For tickets call 257-3880.

SUNY New Paltz is a university of nearly 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students located in the Mid-Hudson Valley halfway between New York City and Albany. SUNY New Paltz is committed to providing high quality, affordable education to students from all social and economic backgrounds. For more information about the university, visit its web site at