Portland Stage Remounts IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY
Back by popular demand, this family-friendly, holiday classic returns to the Portland Stage 's Mainstage after its 2017 opening. In addition to returning Director and Set Designer Anita Stewart, Portland Stage's current Executive and Artistic Director, the production also sees the return of several members from the 2017 cast, including Dustin Tucker and Courtney Moors, members of the Actors' Equity Association. Music Director Shane Van Vliet, Costume Designer Kathleen P. Brown, and Lighting Designer Gregg Carville also return for this holiday remount.
Set in a 1940s radio station on Christmas Eve, Frank Capra's classic 1946 film is retold by five professional Actors' Equity Association actors who transform into dozens of characters from the idyllic small town, Bedford Falls. Also prominent on stage are ten children. A total of 20 local children were cast and will be rotating performances.
Nostalgia and comedy weave playfully with staged sound effects and customized commercials while simultaneously tackling the grave issue of a character facing a crises-of-faith on Christmas Eve. George Bailey, a small-town businessman, and father, facing financial ruin, wishes he had never been born. Enter 292-year old Clarence the angel (Angel Second Class) - who is on a mission to earn his wings while restoring George's will to live. To succeed, he takes George on a mystical tour through the lives of those he's unknowingly touched, to reveal a harsher version of their existence had George not been a part of their paths.
This season's production of "It's a Wonderful Life" received generous support from L.L. Bean.
Before television, the most popular form of entertainment was the radio. Families gathered to listen to stories told by a small cast of actors playing multiple characters and one person creating sounds effects to heighten the storytelling. These same actors and artists were also responsible for the advertisements played during the regular program.
In It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, the audience experiences all of the inner workings of a radio play. However, in the theatrical version, the storytelling springs to life with period sets, costumes, and performance as the story expands.
Location: 25 Forest Ave, Portland ME
Dates: November 29 - December 24
Prices: Previews $37-$42 | Sat & Sun Matinee $50-$70 | All other performances $45-$65 | Discounts for Seniors, Students, Rush35, and Groups.
Pay-What-You-Can: Friday, November 29 at 7:00 pm
Purchase options: AT THE DOOR 25A Forest Avenue, Portland, ME; CALL THE BOX OFFICE: 207.774.0465 Tuesdays through Sundays, Noon to 6:00 pm.
Open captioning: Friday, December 13 at 7:00 pm
American Sign Language (ASL): Sunday, December 8 at 12:00 pm