It’s A Wonderful Play

The Pine Tree Playhouse is offering a unique gift this holiday season, a special version of the Christmas classic, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” The play continues this weekend, Dec. 13, 14 and 15 with performances at 8 p.m. on Friday, and Saturday and a 3 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

The story of how “typical American dreamer” George Bailey learns how much he really means to those around him when he glimpses what life would be like without him was famously told in the Frank Capra film starring Jimmy Stewart, and this production captures all those familiar elements of the movie; Zuzu’s petals, Clarence the bumbling and lovable Guardian Angel Second Class and the little town of Bedford Falls.

The version that the Pine Tree Playhouse has chosen to present, with a script by Joe Landry, is very special, says director Brian Garner.

“This is a live radio play of the familiar story, told in a setting of a 1940s radio station. I received an early Christmas gift when I got a talented cast and crew to tell the story in this special way,” he said.

A cast of five actors play all the parts in the story, from George Bailey as a youngster to Clarence the Angel and the villain of the piece, the grasping windbag Henry Potter. Audience members will see the actors at the old-fashioned microphones as they put on different voices for each of the different characters.

Adding to the atmosphere of a live radio play circa 1946, a live on-stage Foley artist, or sound effects technician, creates almost all of the sound effects with a variety of objects. For example, cornflakes on a sheet pan crushed by a bottle give the sound of someone walking through snow and bamboo broken over a knee stands in for ice breaking in a river. The audience will see not only the actors as they perform the various roles, but also the sound effects being performed that enhance the story.

“This story has a happy ending, like all good holiday tales, and I guarantee you’ll leave the theater after you, like George Bailey, remember that it really is a wonderful life,” promises Garner.

Tickets for “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” are $10 for adults, $8 for students and $8 for senior citizens for the Sunday matinee. Please call the Pine Tree Playhouse at 803-635-6847 to make reservations.

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