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SHS to perform 'You Can't Take It With You'

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Members of the Somerset High School spring play “You Can’t Take It With You” are pictured during a rehearsal on Monday, Feb. 18. Pictured are (from left) Lola Belisle, Brycen Chladek, Sydney Cook, Madi Hohler, Emma Hawley, Ella Odell, Malena Siskow, Jordan Otradovec, Allison Meuers, Kennedi Kjellberg, Phoebe Dunleaap, Grant Hoff and Erica Hoyt. Jordan Willi / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

The Somerset High School drama department will transport you back to the 1930s with this year's spring production of "You Can't Take It With You," a comedy from 1936 that features a crazy family that loves each other very much.

"Basically, the Sycamores are this crazy and weird family ... they are just living life and not caring about what anyone else thinks. Then Alice Sycamore, who you could call the most sane of all of them, falls for the vice president of a big company. The family tries to meet with him and his family and it is a complete disaster. The whole thing is kind of this moral message that you should live how you want to live, because in the end, we are all going to die," said senior Kennedi Kjellberg, who plays Penelope Sycamore.

The students will put on four shows, with two casts each performing twice over the weekend. The play opens at 7 p.m. Friday, March 8 in the high school multi-purpose room, followed by two shows at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9 and a final performance at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 10. Admission is $6 at the door, with ticket sales beginning one hour before the show; doors open 30 minutes before the show.

"The play is very funny and we are just having a blast with it. We giggle all through practice. As we get closer to opening night, people are adding their own flair to their character, which makes the whole thing funnier," said director Becky Olson. "My new assistant and I both had the same play in mind for this spring, which was great. It is a play from the 1930s, but the humor still applies today."

A total of 40 students make up the two casts, Olson said. The students are starting to get into a groove with only days left before opening night, despite the added stress of snow days and having less practices due to having two casts.

"Things are going really good right now. I think we have just a few minor touch ups and we will have it down. I think we will be ready for opening night given that we still have a good number of practices left" said senior Emma Hawley, who is playing Essie Carmichael. "If you are going to come to the play, or are thinking about coming, be ready to laugh. The play is about a crazy family that you might find relatable."

According to Olson, not only has the cast been working hard at learning their lines and developing their characters, but they also spent six straight hours building the set and props for the play.

"I hadn't heard of the play before, but then they told me and I found out there was a mom character — which I've played my fair share of moms in the past — who is a lead, which I was really excited about. I watched the play and I was so excited, especially since I knew we would have enough really good people to cast in the different roles," Kjellberg said. "I've said since my freshman year that I want to play a lead before I graduated and this is my last play and also my first time being a lead. So I'm very excited."

With two casts, several characters will feature two actors/actresses.

"The difference between my Rheba and the other cast's Rheba is that I play my character as a more tough person and show more of a woman being independent and sure of herself. It is interesting to see how we are playing the parts differently," Belisle said. "It is an old-time play that not a lot of people are going to know. The senior citizens will know the play since it is from their generation and it is nice to know we are showing that since sometimes we need to know what it was like to be alive then in order to get to know the older generations."

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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