Get in the holiday spirit with live adaptation of "It's a Wonderful Life"

November 28, 2023
Poster for It's a Wonderful Life

Relive a classic holiday tale like never before when Fitchburg State University’s Communications Media Department presents “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” this December.

Written by Joe Landry and directed by Fitchburg State Professor Kelly Morgan and student Allison Thompson, the classic movie is retold as a charming 1940s-themed radio show, including a live foley operator for sound effects. Experience the impressive vocal range of the actors as they play multiple characters "over the air."

"It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" will be performed at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5 through Saturday, Dec. 9, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 and Sunday, Dec. 10 in the Wallace Theater for the Performing Arts at the McKay Complex, 67 Rindge Road. Visitors are asked to use Entrance B to access the space. Admission is free and open to the public.

"Audiences will observe the actors performing multiple voices of the characters in the story and watching the sound technician create all the unique sound effects, so the radio audience can imagine the reality of the story," said Morgan.

The holiday show is a great way to get out, have some fun, and meet people in the community.

The production crew is in full swing, doing their best to make the performance come to life. "The cast captures the magic of both live theater and radio so well and the opening is such a fun time," said stage manager Colby Hairston. Part of the appeal of the production, he continued, is the off-mic work performed by the cast on stage. “In a show where the actors play actors playing voices, there's a lot that goes on in the studio while we listen to the show, and the cast has done a great job playing with that meta kind of acting."

Holiday positivity is clearly a big aspect of the set itself, even backstage. 

"I'd like the readers to know that this is my favorite cast I have ever had the pleasure of working with," said cast member Chris Brennan.

"My favorite part about the production is definitely working with this amazing cast and crew,” added cast member Marco Grogan. “Everyone is super talented and supportive of each other, and it's been a blast to work on this."

News release written by Andrew Govoni '24.