“You Can’t Take It With You” Auditions June 18th, 27th, and 28th

By Moss Heart and George S. Kaufman

Directed by Chip Gertzog
Produced By Janet Bartelmay

A brilliant, warm-hearted and critically acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize winning, comedy that is one ofAmerica’s best.  Join Grandpa and his good-natured, though eccentric family, as they meet the stuffy and more conservative Kirbys – nothing but hilarity ensues.


At first the Sycamores seem mad, but it is not long before you realize that if they are mad, then the rest of the world is madder. In contrast to these delightful people are the unhappy Kirbys. Tony, the attractive young son of the Kirbys, falls in love with Alice Sycamore and brings his parents to dine at the Sycamore house on the wrong evening. The shock sustained by Mr. and Mrs. Kirby shows Alicethat marriage with Tony is out of the question. The Sycamores find it hard to understandAlice’s view. Tony knows the Sycamores live the right way with love and care for each other, while his own family is the one that’s crazy. In the end, Mr. Kirby is converted to the happy madness of the Sycamores after he happens in during a visit by the ex-Grand Duchess ofRussia, Olga Katrina, who is currently earning her living as a waitress.

Nine Men – Seven Women – All Roles Open

The Providence Players of Fairfax is a non-profit community theater troupe. All participation is on a volunteer, non-compensated basis.




Download a PDF of This Audition Announcement



Preview: October 18 7:00pm Curtain

Evening Performances: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays; 7:30pm Curtain
October 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, November 1, 2 & 3

Matinees: Sundays; 2:00pm curtain
October 21 & 28


Monday June 18, 7-9:15pm
Wednesday June 27, 7-9:30pm
Thursday June 28, 7-9:30pm
Call-Backs (if needed): July 2, 7-9:00pm


The James Lee Community Center Theater
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
(Look For Signs To Audition Room)


PLEASE RSVP to providenceplayers@cox.net with the dates you plan on auditioning.

HOW WE WORK: You are encouraged to plan to come to auditions on more than one of the audition evenings. This is not a requirement. Most PPF auditions have actors up and down to read multiple times in multiple combinations and scenes. Most actors find this fun. As space allows, you will be able to watch all the auditions. You may be asked to go into the hallway with audition partners and work a bit on a scene. We will do our best to get you up multiple times reading for parts you are interested in. You will also be asked to read for other parts you may not be auditioning for. The Providence Players strives to make our productions open to interested and engaged actors & actresses, regardless of their level of experience. We try and make our auditions as relaxing and fun as possible.

AUDITION PROCESS: Auditions will consist of readings from the script – No monologue required.

AUDITION SIDES: Sides for the audition process will be supplied at auditions and will be listed and posted in .pdf format on our website: www.providenceplayers.org the weekend of June 16th and 17th. It will be advantageous to review the sides for the character(s) you are interested in. It is not expected that these be committed to memory.

AUDITION FORM: Resumes and headshots will be accepted, but are not required. Please ALSO complete the attached PPF You Can’t Take It With You Audition Form and bring it with you to the audition. This will also be available on our website.

MEMBERSHIP: The Providence Players of Fairfax is a membership organization. Membership is not required to audition. If cast, actors in addition to production team members will be asked to become members of the Providence Players ($10) for the season (if they are not already).

RSVP: Please send us an RSVP if you plan to audition to providenceplayers@cox.net  (or email us any questions you may have).


A copy of the preliminary rehearsal schedule is included with this announcement and at auditions. In general, over the summer, there will be 2 full cast readings of the play and some selected scene study and character work scheduled based on actor availability. The schedule for these will be finalized a week or two after auditions. There will be off stage rehearsals beginning the week after Labor Day. Actors will be expected to be largely off-book by Sept. 18th. Stage rehearsals will begin on Sept. 18th and continue on an intense basis through the preview performance on October 18th. Unless indicated otherwise, all rehearsals will happen at the James Lee Community Center. Rehearsals will be held in the evenings roughly from 7:00 to 9:45pm.

Please come to auditions prepared to list any availability conflicts over this time period.


Character Summary – 9 men, 7 women – Each A Gem


You Can’t take It With You Characters – The Women (7 Roles)


Penelope Sycamore (Early/Mid 50s) – Lead
Usually goes by Penny. She is the mother of Essie and Alice, wife of Paul, and daughter of Martin. A loving and caring mother and wife, Penny is as eccentric as the other members of her family. Penny was an enthusiastic painter but gave up this hobby for writing when a typewriter was delivered to the house by mistake eight years earlier. Charmingly blunt, she causes some embarrassment during the Kirbys’ visit, first by calling Mrs. Kirby’s beloved spirtualism “a fake,” and then by proposing a word association game and asking what everyone associates with the words “sex,” “bathroom,” and “lust.” Penny’s enjoyment of life and direct speech are in marked contrast to Mrs. Kirby’s seeming discontent and reserved acceptance of social conventions.


Essie Carmichael (Mid-20s – early 30s) – Featured
Wife of Ed, daughter of Penny and Paul Sycamore, Granddaughter of Martin, sister of Alice. She is childish. As a hobby she makes candy that Ed sells. Essie dreams of being a ballerina. She has spent 8 years studying with Boris Kolenkhov, but is a terrible dancer. She dances her way through the play, improvising steps to her husband Ed’s xylophone music. Like the other Sycamores, Essie is both happily absorbed in tasks which amuse her and wholly undisturbed by the eccentricities of her family.


Rheba (Ageless) – Supporting
The maid and cook to the Sycamore family. She is treated almost like a part of the family. She is dating Donald. In the words of Mrs. Sycamore, “The two of them are really cute together”


Alice Sycamore (Early to Mid 20s) – Featured
Alice Sycamore is Penny and Paul’s attractive younger daughter (Granddaughter of Martin, sister of Essie). The twenty−two−year−old Alice has, according to the stage directions, “escaped the tinge of mild insanity” that pervades her relatives, but her “devotion and love for them are plainly apparent. She falls in love with Tony Kirby. She works for Kirby and company, and is rather embarrassed by the eccentricities of her family when she has Tony and his parents at her house.


Gay Wellington (most likely played over 40) – Cameo/Supporting
Described in the stage directions as “an actress, nymphomaniac, and a terrible souse,” comes to the Sycamore house to discuss a script with Penny but then passes out on the couch. She occasionally awakens, usually just in time to contribute to the chaos that erupts following the Kirbys’ unexpected visit.


Miriam Kirby (Mid 50s – Early 60s) – Supporting
Wife of Mr. Kirby, mother of Tony. She is an extremely prim and proper woman the conservative female equivelent of her businessman husband. She, too, is shocked by the unconventional Vanderhof−Sycamores. Her hobby is spiritualism and she is affronted when Penny says spiritualism is “a fake”. She seems to reveal she is dissatisfied with her marriage when in a word game she associates “honeymoon” with “dull” and almost admits that Mr. Kirby talks about Wall Street even during sex.


The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina (mid 40s – mid 50s) – Supporting
She was one of the Grand Duchesses of Russia before the Revolution. Since then she has been forced to flee to America where she has found work as a waitress in Childs Restaurant. The rest of her family has had a similar fate, such as her Uncle Sergei, the Grand Duke, who is now an elevator man. She loves to cook.



You Can’t take It With You Characters – The Men (9 Roles)


Grandpa – Martin Vanderhof (Early/Mid 70s) – Lead
Father of Penny, Grandfather to Alice and Essie. Head of the household. He is an eccentric but wise and happy older man who has never paid his income tax because he doesn’t believe in it, as he feels that the government wouldn’t know what to do with the money if he paid. One day thirty−five years ago he gave up his successful business career, since, as he explains to Mr. Kolenkhov, it struck him that he “wasn’t having any fun,” So he “just relaxed” and has “been a happy man ever since.” He now has “time enough for everything” and, as he tells Mr. Kirby, he no longer has “six hours of things I have to do every day before I get one hour to do what I like in.” He goes to circuses, commencements, throws darts, and collects stamps. He provides the philosophical center of the play, explaining the folly of seeking material wealth at the expense of personal fulfillment, and asking only, as he says while saying grace before dinner, that their family be allowed “to go along and be happy in [their] own sort of way.”


Paul Sycamore (Late 50s – Early 60s) – Supporting
Father of Essie and Alice, husband of Penny, Son-in-law of Martin. He is a tinkerer who makes fireworks the basement with the help of his assistant Mr. De Pinna. Quiet, charming, and mild−mannered, he never loses his composure, even when the fireworks he makes in the basement unexpectedly explode. Like his wife and father−in−law, Paul possesses what the stage directions call “a kind of youthful air.”


Mr. De Pinna (“Middle Aged”) – Supporting
Described in the stage directions as a “bald−headed little man with a serious manner,” the middle−aged Mr. De Pinna arrived at the Vanderhof residence eight years ago to deliver ice and ended up moving in. He shows how open and accepting the Vanderhof−Sycamore family can be: everyone is obviously welcome in this house. Mr. De Pinna has clearly taken to this family’s way of life. He helps Paul make firecrackers, poses in Roman costume for Penny’s painting of a discus thrower, and remains undisturbed by the chaotic household.


Ed Carmichael (Age 28-35 +/-) – Supporting
Stage directions describe him as a “nondescript young man” in his thirties. Loyal and devoted husband of Essie, son-in-law of Paul and Penny. He is a xylophone player, and distributes Essie’s candies. Ed is an amateur printer who prints anything that sounds good to him such as some of the writings of the revolutionary Russian Communist Leon Trotsky: “God Is the State; the State is God.” He also prints up dinner menus for his family. He is mistakenly a person of interest to the FBI who fancies him an insurrectionist attempting to undermine the United States government.


Donald (Ageless) – Supporting
Boyfriend to Rheba, who serves as volunteer handyman and errand runner for the Sycamores. He is on welfare.


Wilbur C. Henderson (40 – 60) – Cameo/Supporting
An employee of the IRS He comes to collect the tax money owed by Grandpa, and can’t understand why the latter won’t pay income tax.


Tony Kirby (Mid/Late 20s) – Featured
The stage directions tell us he is a “very nice young man” who has recently attended Yale and Cambridge. He has fallen in love with Alice Sycamore and wants to marry her. Tony is a Vice President of Kirby & Co., his father’s business. He purposely brings his parents to the Vanderhof−Sycamore house on the wrong night because, as he says to his father, “I wanted you to see a real family as they really were A family that loved and understood each other.” Determined to do something that he wants to do, Tony rejects his father’s business and embraces the Vanderhofs philosophy of seeking happiness over wealth.


Boris Kolenkhov (mid 40s – mid 50s) – Supporting
A Russia who escaped to America shortly before the Russian Revolution. He is very concerned with world politics, and the deterioration of his homeland. He is the ballet instructor of Essie, aware that she is untalented at dancing, and ever the opportunist, he keeps working with her, conveniently, at meal times. He is opinionated and often loudly declares that something “stinks”! Has wrestling match with Mr. Kirby.


Anthony P. Kirby (Mid 50s – Early 60s) – Large Supporting
Husband of Mrs. Kirby, father of Tony. He is a very proper man who is president of Kirby and Co… a successful Wall Street businessman…and secretly despises his job. He is a traditional authority figure who represents the conventional worldview the Vanderhof−Sycamores reject. Conservative and repressed, he has perpetual indigestion and tells his wife he thinks “lust is not a human emotion.” He is initially shocked by Alice’s family and says Grandpa Vanderhof s idea of doing only what makes you happy is a “a very dangerous philosophy … it’s un−American.” His hobby is raising expensive orchids. He is also a member of the Harvard Society, the Union Club, the National Geographic Society, and the Racquet Club. He lives life “the right way” and is miserable for it. He undergoes the most major transformation in the play.



Chip Gertzog is a devout community theater junkie. You Can’t Take it With You will be Chips’s 42nd production over the past 15 years. Chip has served PPF in virtually all production and non-production capacities. He has directed eight shows for PPF (Sorry Wrong Number (One Act) (2001-2002) George Washington Slept Here (2002 -2003), Heaven Can Wait – with Barbara Gertzog (2004-2005), The Time of Your Life (2006-2007), Saturday Sunday Monday (2007-2008), Rehearsal for Murder (2008-2009), Harvey (2009-2010), He and has done lighting, sound, and/or technical direction on more than 20 productions. Over the last year, Chip has done tech design work on the PPF productions of Auntie Mame, Side Man, and Sleuth, as well as the Sterling Playmakers’ production of The Wizard of Oz. He is an eleven time WATCH award nominee and three time award winner.