It's a Wonderful Life
by Joe Landry
Covey Center for the Arts, 2022
Directed by Andrew Jefferies
Stage Managed by Elise Lacanienta
Scenic & Props Design by Pam Cluff
Costume Design by Elizabeth Crandall
Lighting Design by Spencer Powell
Sound Design by Robert Seely
“I expected to enjoy watching my favorite Christmas movie played out on the stage, but I did not expect to fall even more in love with the storyline. Andrew Jefferies’s directing allowed this beautiful story to take on a more personal meaning in my own life. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this play.” Read full review here.
“I’ve watched the Capra favorite many times but caught bits and pieces in this show I’d never seen before. Director Andrew Jefferies gives his actors lovely stage business but limits them as they move around the stage so we don’t get distracted. It all feels very organic and realistic, and that’s saying something since it’s about a fictional radio show based on a fictional movie.” Read full review here.
There is an undeniable sort of magic that surrounds this story. Since this adaptation was a radio play, it was important to me that we show how these events not only impact the characters in the story, but the actors playing them.
I staged this production with the frame narrative of a man from the present entering an old, abandoned radio station that comes to life and draws him into the storytelling. As the story progressed, the lines blurred between the actors and their characters until George wishes he was never born. Real thunder roared, lights flickered, and the other actors stopped acknowledging his presence. Once he wished for his life back, his props became real instead of mimed and he reunited with everyone. The mirrored stories of the characters and actors made this production feel urgent and accessible.