“It’s A Wonderful Life,” the American holiday film classic, has been creatively transposed into a stage adaptation, as if the story is being told as a 1948 live radio broadcast direct from the imaginary studio of WBFR Radio New York City. A team of student actors from Montana Western stand before retro microphones, creating the voices of dozens of characters. A sound effect “foley” artist shakes a hand-crafted thunder tube and cranks a wind machine to mimic a winter storm. Advertising gals and guys strut in glitzy outfits touting “marvelous soap” and “miraculous hair tonic.” And all of this occurs in front of a live audience! The show provides just the kind of fun and warmth welcomed at this time of year.
A tear-jerker of a story, idealistic everyman George Bailey considers ending his life one snowy Christmas Eve, but, with the intervention of his guardian angel, he sees the sad lives of his family, friends, and beloved little town if he would have never been born. Recognizing that “no man is a failure who has friends,” he finds strength with his wife and children secure in his arms, good friends by his side, and learns how wonderful life truly is.
According to Director Bethany Mason, “This is a play showing how much of an impact we can have on those around us and how important each one of us really are. I hope everyone leaves the theatre feeling uplifted and grateful to all those who have affected our lives in even the smallest way. After the difficult times we have all been through, it is important to take a moment and remember it really is a wonderful life.”
Tickets for “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” are $10 general, $5 youth, and free for UMW students. The play is the third in the 2021-22 Bank of Commerce Performing Arts Series. For more information, please contact Professor of Fine Arts and Education, Dr. Judy Ulrich: [email protected] or 406-683-7422.