Still savoring the success of the musical production “Oliver!” last fall, Abington High School Drama Director and Advisor, Steve Shannon is looking forward to another success this time with the drama production of “You Can’t Take it With You” with performances on Thursday, March 15 and Friday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Abington High School auditorium.

With the opening of the new Abington High and Middle School last September, it was the desire of Shannon to host the first big event in the 750 seat state-of-the-art auditorium by moving up the usual yearly production from spring to fall as a musical. However, this drama production came with its own set of challenges.

“One of the things we were excited about with the new auditorium was the opportunity to expand our theater offerings for the kids beyond just one show a year,” explained Shannon.

“This is our first venture out into a full-scale play that’s a non-musical and it’s like retraining a whole new set for us to navigate our way through for the very first time.

“It’s exciting and the kids have really risen to the challenge,” added Shannon.

Senior Dylan Gately, plays the lead role of Grandpa Martin Vanderhof. Gately found this particular drama role a bit more challenging than his previous musical parts.

“It’s been a different experience for me because I’ve only been in two musicals,” said Gately. “This is the first time I’ve ever had bundle of lines to read and memorize. In ‘Oliver!’, I think I had about 30 lines and this one is up to like 200.”

Gately’s fellow cast members, who have appeared in other performances with him as well, have helped him accomplish the mission.

“We’ve all gotten closer for the past three shows,” said Gately. “It’s like a whole new group of people that you get to see more of and it’s a really cool experience.”

The play was originally written by Moss Hart and George Kauffman and won a Pulitzer Prize back in 1936 for its performance on Broadway.

Set in the late 1930s in New York near Columbia University, “You Can’t Take It With You” depicts the life of sweet-natured Alice Sycamore as she falls in love with a banker’s son, Tony Kirby. Alice invites her prospective uptight in-laws to dinner to give their blessing to marriage. Alice’s quirky extended family –including philosophical grandfather Martin Vanderhof, ballerina sister Essie, and fireworks enthusiast father, Paul might be too much for the Kirby family to handle.

“It’s sort of the antics of their daily lives with some eccentric characters. Everyone goes about their own business yet are around each other all the time,” explained Shannon.

Gately described playing the role of Grandpa as someone he can relate to.

“He is the base of the family, giving thanks at dinner before it starts and always making those classic dad jokes. He’s a very cool character.

“There’s a lot of stuff in the play you can relate to especially in this day and age,” added Gately.

Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance online at and type “Abington” in the search. Adults are $12, students $8.