Shakespeare & Company Opens IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY Tonight

As a special treat for the holiday season Shakespeare & Company presents It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, inspired by Frank Capra's classic 1946 film starring Donna Reed and James Stewart. Filled with just the right hint of nostalgia and charm, director Jenna Ware brings audiences back to the Golden Age of radio with this poignant, funny and unique play-within-a-play that will leave you believing in angels!

Tickets range from $15 to $50. Shakespeare & Company offers a wide range of discount options, including: group, student, senior citizen, military, teacher and our popular 40% Berkshire Resident Discount. For more information on season productions, schedules, to receive a brochure, or to inquire about discounts on regular performances, please call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 or visit www.shakespeare.org. For group visits-which may include artist talkbacks, tours, and catered events-contact the Group Sales office at (413) 637-1199, ext. 132. The Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre is hearing aid assisted and wheelchair accessible.

Set in a radio studio on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1946, five radio personalities are live, on-air, retelling the American Christmas classic, It's a Wonderful Life, before a studio audience. The five actors will play not only the show's radio actors, but in true 'Lux Radio Theatre' fashion, will play all 50 roles from It's a Wonderful Life. The show will also include radio jingles, live sound effects and favorite Christmas songs, sure to warm the hearts of audiences, both young and old.

"It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is something I think will resonate with our patrons," says Ware. "It's a terrific story, filled with great revelatory moments, a strong sense of family, friends and the power of generosity and love. You'll get to watch many of your favorite Company actors slip seamlessly from one role to another, as we transform The Bernstein Theatre into a 1940's radio studio."

In It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey, the owner of a building and loan association in the small town of Bedford Falls, New York, loses an $8,000 bank deposit, which threatens to ruin his business, as well as his personal and family life. Just as George falls deeper into despair, believing himself to be a complete failure, an 'angel' named Clarence appears. Clarence shows George what the world would have been like if he had never been born.

"It's a Wonderful Life is the American version of A Christmas Carol. This classic story is about looking back on your life and seeing what impact you have had on the people around you and what impact your decisions have, and how there is virtue in making decisions that are the best for others and not for ego or self gain," adds Ware. "We hope to create an amalgamation of radio and theatre, and provide our own take on this classic and heart-warming holiday tale."

BIOS:

JOE LANDRY (Adapter, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play) Joe's published plays include It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (named one of the top ten most produced plays in America by American Theatre magazine), Vintage Hitchcock andReefer Madness. Other works for stage include Lifeboat, Dahling! (with Bert Bernardi) and the musical Mothers and Sons (with Kevin Connors). He is founder of Second Guess Theatre Company in Westport, CT, where he produced and directed over two dozen original plays.

JENNA WARE twentieth season (Director, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play; Associate Director of Education) S&Co director: Les Faux Pas or the Counter Plots, The Venetian Twins, Red Hot Patriot, Amorous Quarrel, Shakespeare and the Language That Shaped a World, Shirley Valentine, The Henry VI Chronicles, Macbeth tour, The Triumph of Darkness. Jenna has directed over 40 productions for S&Co's Education Program and is the founder of Shakespeare & Young Company. Regional director:Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Maine Shakespeare), and Three Tall Women(Penobscot Theatre). Regional actor: The Comedy of Errors (Adriana) at Maine Shakespeare, and Macbeth (Lady Macduff) at Orlando Shakespeare. Jenna recently served as a reviewer for the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities 'Coming Up Taller' award. Education: BFA from NYU/Tisch.




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