Friday, September 6, 2013

You Can't Take It With You - Character Information for the Audition

“You Can’t Take It With You” Characters
(in random order)

Penelope “Penny” Sycamore (246 lines)
Preferred age: 40 and up
Usually goes by Penny, Penelope is the mother of Essie and
Alice, wife of Paul, and daughter of Martin. She writes plays
and paints as hobbies because it makes her happy, but is
terrible at both. Penny is a loving mother and wife and is
constantly concerned with the welfare of her family. Her
main goal is to make sure everyone is happy, particularly her
daughter Alice. A huge part! On stage almost all the time.

Martin “Grandpa” Vanderhof (207 lines)
Preferred age: 60 and up
Referred to mostly as Grandpa in the play. Father-in-law to
Paul, father of Penny, grandfather of Alice and Essie. He is
an eccentric happy old 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 for it. He lives his life by the philosophy: “Don't do
anything that you're not going to enjoy doing.” He goes to
circuses, commencements, throws darts, and collects
stamps. A challenging role indeed, but most of your blocking
is…sitting in a rocker.

Alice Sycamore (181 lines)
Preferred age: 18 and up
Fiancé of Tony Kirby, daughter of Paul and Penny,
Granddaughter of Martin, sister of Essie. She the only
"normal" family member. She has an office job, and is rather
embarrassed by the eccentricities of her family when she
has Tony and his parents at her house, yet she still loves
them. She tends to be a pessimist. The actress for Alice
needs to show characteristics of love, embarrassment,
worry…and many more.

Tony Kirby (136 lines)
Preferred age: 18 and up
Fiancé of Alice, Son of Mr. and Mrs. Kirby. He sees how,
even though the Sycamores appear odd, they are really the
perfect family because they love and care about each other.
His own family is very proper and has many issues none of
them will admit. He is vice president of Kirby and Co. This
actor will need to have an adorable properness to him. The
audience will need to be on Tony’s side right from the start.

Anthony W. Kirby (107 lines)
Preferred age: 45 and up
Husband of Mrs. Kirby, father of Tony. He is a very proper
man who is president of Kirby and Co. and secretly despises
his job. 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. Being rich and
borderline snobby is a good start for an actor to experiment
with for this role. Whoever has this role will also need to not
laugh when hilarity ensues.

Essie Carmichael (87 lines)
Preferred age: 25 and up
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. Actresses who perform
these embarrassing, bad dances need to keep a very
straight face, and is willing to dance intermingled with
Kolenkhov. Hilarity will ensue.

Boris Kolenkhov (83 lines)
Preferred age: 30 and up
A Russian who escaped to America shortly before the
Russian Revolution. He is very concerned with world politics,
and the deterioration of Russia. He is the ballet instructor of
Essie, aware that she is untalented at dancing, but knows
that she enjoys dancing so he keeps working with her. He
likes the Greeks and the Romans, questions society, and is
interested in world affairs. He is opinionated and often loudly
declares that something "stinks"! This actor can be either
very large and boisterous, or small and flamboyant. Will
need to be able to support Essie physically, and keep a
straight face.

Paul Sycamore (68 lines)
Preferred age: 40 and up
Father of Essie and Alice, husband of Penny, Son-in-law of
Martin. He is a Tinker who manufactures fireworks in the
basement with the help of his assistant Mr. De Pinna. His
hobby is playing with erector sets. It will help have an age
appropriate actor for this role. A common, fatherly character
is all Paul needs.

Ed Carmichael (65 lines)
Preferred age: 25 and up
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.
He prints up dinner menus for his family and little quotes that
he places in the boxes of Essie's candy. He also likes to
make masks. The actor will need to be confident in all his
crafts, but show meekness when he is later confronted with
a visit from the feds.

Mr. De Pinna (55 lines)
Preferred age: 30 and up
The iceman who came inside to speak to Paul five years
before, and never left. He helps Mr. Sycamore build
fireworks, and moonlights as a model in Mrs. Sycamore's
paintings. He is a nutty guy. This is kind of a side-kick role
to Paul. Witty, random jokes. A perfect role for someone
who can have a lot of fun designing a uniquely written
Donald (46 lines)
Preferred age: 25 and up
The boyfriend of Rheba, who seems to serve as volunteer
handyman for the Sycamores. In the words of Mrs.
Sycamore, "The two of them are really cute together,
something like Porgy and Bess." The characters of Donald
and Rheba, according to the script, are African-American.
These roles, and their dialogues, can be altered freely.

Rheba (44 lines)
Preferred age: 25 and up
The maid and cook to the Sycamore family. She is dating
Donald. She is onstage a lot, but doesn’t necessarily say
anything. The characters of Donald and Rheba, according to
the script, are African-American. These roles, and their
dialogues, can be altered freely.

Wilbur C. Henderson (34 lines)
Preferred age: 25 and up
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. A one-scene role that has brought out tons
of laughs and stomach cramps from audience all over.
Perfect for someone who wants to act, but may not have a
lot of time to commit.

Miriam Kirby (33 lines)
Preferred age: 45 and up
Wife of Mr. Kirby, mother of Tony. She is an extremely prim
and proper woman and is horrified by the goings-on in the
Sycamore household. Her hobby is spiritualism. A small,
female role, but one that shows a great deal of emotion.

The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina (20 lines)
Preferred age: 40 and up
She was one of the Grand Duchesses of Russia before the
Revolution, another being her sister, the Grand Duchess
Natasha. 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 as a hobby. This character
will appear later in the play, and the actress needs to be able
to be a bit over-the-top, but not over do it. A memorable, not
necessarily overwhelming, Russian accent is desired.

Gay Wellington (9 lines)
Preferred age: 25 and up
An actress whom Mrs. Sycamore meets on a bus and invites
home to read one of her plays. She is an alcoholic, gets very
drunk and passes out shortly after arriving at the Sycamore's
home. A very small role, but onstage for several scenes.
The actress mustn’t be afraid to be physically carried by
another actor, and can act “passed out”, in hilarious
positions, without breaking character.

G-Man 1 “The Man” (18 lines), G-Man 2 “Jim” (3 lines),
G-Man 3 “Mac” (2 lines)
Preferred age: 21 and up (Triplets would rock!)
Three agents who come to investigate Ed because of the
communist things he p