Hesston College Performing Arts presents It’s a Wonderful Life: The Live Radio Play on December 3, 2022, at 7 p.m. at Hesston Mennonite Church. The cast and crew are faculty and students alike with performances accompanied by Bel Canto Singers and Global Voices.
This beloved American holiday classic is performed as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. This production takes on an exciting challenge with the addition of sound effects occurring live, as they did in radio shows of the past.
“It can be a challenge for actors to have an audience buy-in to something so well known, when characters like George and Mary Bailey have been so iconically portrayed by Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed,” said Director of Theatre Rachel Jantzi. “We are embracing that challenge by telling the story without trying to mimic the film.”
This theatrical performance will collaborate with Bel Canto Singers and Global Voices to incorporate music before, during and after the show. Russell Adrian will conduct the singers and Ken Rodgers will accompany on piano.
The cast includes students – Sam Setiawan, Desirae Rodriguez and Josh Fleming – and faculty and staff members – Joel Krehbiel, engineering professor, and Whitney Douglas, the Title IX and disabilities coordinator. The crew is Alexis Driscoll, Sophia Crawford and Minori Fujioka.
“The actors are working hard to fully flesh out the folks of Bedford Falls, which are many,” said Jantzi, “and they are doing a beautiful job!”
This show is free to the public and will feature holiday refreshments after the event. It will also be available via livestream. For more information, call 620-327-8142 or visit hesston.edu/theatre
Currently masks are optional, but the performance will comply with the masking policies of Hesston College and Hesston Mennonite Church. Audience members should be prepared to wear a mask if required.