WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (10/20/22) – The Williams Baptist University Theatre department will open their 2022-23 season on Oct. 28-29 with a production of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s “You Can’t Take It with You”.

“In celebration of my upcoming 40-year anniversary at WBU, I am going back and directing some of my previous productions,” Melinda Williams, director of the play and assistant professor of speech, drama and journalism at WBU said.  “We did this play in 1992.”

The plot centers on Grandpa Vanderhof and his wacky family, the Sycamores, who have been happily living their zany lives in his house by Columbia University in New York for many years. This family (and their friends) is a madcap group of eccentrics, marching to the beat of their own drum, with pride and joy. But when young Alice Sycamore becomes engaged to her company’s Vice President Tony Kirby, the Vanderhof/Sycamore clan must straighten up to meet the new in-laws. 

“You Can’t Take It With You” is a madcap, idealistic comedy that reinforces the idea that you can only live life to the fullest by doing whatever makes you happy.

“The production involves a lot of characters and a whole lot of chaos,” Williams said.  “But, that is what makes it fun.”

This production will highlight Joe Hutchison of Evening Shade in the role of Grandpa Vanderhof.  “Joe has been a part of both our traveling ministry team and the theatre productions since his transfer to WBU,” Williams said.  “But, this will be his final performance at the university.”  Hutchison completes his history degree requirements in December and hopes to enter law school.

Other members of the cast include: Grant Goad of Jonesboro; Anna Ring of Paragould,  MeKency Shepard of Little Rock, Alex Osborne of Jonesboro, Savannah Garringer of Bono, Sarah Futrell of Cherry Valley, Kyndall Mackey of Olive Branch, Miss., Tate Anderson of Walnut Ridge, Rachel Jones of Cabot, Aejarah Hodges of Trumann, Brianna Williams of North Little Rock, Josh Jaques of Maumelle, MaKenzie Graves of Valley Springs, Maura Thomason of Sidney, Ronald Hill of Blytheville, Kaylen Doss of Paragould, Rylee Dardar of Searcy, and Luke Foster of Marmaduke. 

The production will begin the festivities for homecoming week.  Curtain time for the show is 7:30 each evening in Startup Chapel on the WBU campus.  Admission for the production is $3 for students and senior citizens and $5 general admission.

Williams is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge, Ark.