Whitney Bates as Alice Sycamore

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“You Can’t Take it With You” resonates, I think, with many theatre students and performers like me because of its message. It takes the philosophy of working hard and earning money to get what you want out of life, and the idea of simply following the life you want to lead and finding happiness through the path you choose to follow, and pits those two beliefs against each other in a hilarious clash of two families. Many people who have chosen theatre as their career path have met with some incredulity or frowns from their peers, and especially their families, but choose to follow their passion regardless.
Thankfully for me, my parents have been supportive of my artistic career, so in that sense I have been very lucky. But like Alice Sycamore, I understand that there is much pressure from the world around me to find a secure career like business management or nursing. Even so, a day in my life as a student at ETSU is hectic and filled with dance, music, work, rehearsals, monologues, and whatever happens to be thrown into the mix—and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Like Grandpa Vanderhof mentions in the show, there will always be people who want to work long days at the office or spend time at Wall Street. Personally, my calling is to spend long nights at the theatre and time in the dance studio. At the end of the day, this play is about people from all walks of life being able to find the commonalities that tie us all together and to enjoy what makes us different. I think that’s a beautiful message to present here at Parkway and I’m thankful to be a part of it.

I love to perform in any capacity!


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Parkway Playhouse, located in the Appalachian town of Burnsville, NC, is a haven of theatre talent. While people come to the mountains to get away, Parkway Playhouse is a natural gathering place to connect. Likewise, we are an extension of traditional mountain talents: singing, dancing, and, foremost, storytelling. By giving rise to energetic new voices and through a wide variety of plays and musicals, we invite our audience into experiences that are thought-provoking, adventurous, and entertaining. Together we reimagine the world in every live performance, creating dynamic conversations that last far beyond the curtain call. This blog is will feature stories, helpful information, insight and features about the performances.

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