IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A Live Radio Play
Comes to life on stage 11/29 through New Year’s Eve
Tickets and subscriptions are now on sale
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS — November 6, 2017 — TheatreSquared will begin performances of It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, inspired by Frank Capra’s classic film, on November 29th. Performed as a 1940s radio broadcast in front of a studio audience, the show will run for five weeks, with special performances on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. In Joe Landry’s celebrated adaptation, it’s Christmas Eve, 1946, and six actors have gathered in a studio at WMAQ, ready to take on dozens of characters and recreate Bedford Falls with live foley sound effects and virtuosic, high-energy performances. Through a redemptive story that has proven timeless, George Bailey, standing on the brink of despair, famously learns that "no man is a failure who has friends.”
“It’s remarkable how much joy, humanity and warmth still radiates from this classic, 70 years on,” said T2 Artistic Director Robert Ford. “You can’t help but root for George Bailey, whose boundless dreams and good-heartedness crash against the hard indifference and greed of Mr. Potter. That memorable moment, when he stands above the waves on a snowy bridge—and then everything shifts—shines a powerful light on how hope, hard choices, love, and friendship can ultimately win out over our darker currents. That’s a worthy beacon in any era.”
Joe Landry’s inventive, theatrical, live radio reimagining of Frank Capra’s classic has become a fast holiday favorite for audiences and critics across the country. The New York Times called it “evocative and heartwarming,” while the Chicago Tribune recommended it as “one of the best holiday shows around.”
Seven weekly performances are scheduled Wednesday through Sunday, November 29-December 31, 2017, with single tickets now on sale at theatre2.org or (479) 443-5600. Season packages are also on sale, with four-play packages ranging from $67-164.
T2’s production is directed by JEFF CHURCH, producing artistic director of The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, which, during his tenure, was named among the top five children’s theatres in the U.S. by Time Magazine. His Coterie highlights have included producing the “Great Books/Banned Books Season,” which included the U.S. premiere of The Lord of the Flies. He also created the Lab for New Family Musicals, and the version of Seussical he developed there is now the most performed musical in educational theatre in the U.S. Recently, he transferred The Coterie’s Lucky Duck with its Kansas City cast to the New Victory Theatre in New York. Other favorite credits include The Rocky Horror Show, which ran for nine months at Woolly Mammoth in Washington, DC. For the Kansas City Repertory, he helmed The Drawer Boy, and, for Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seussical and The Wrestling Season (which also played at the Kennedy Center), as well as Quentos at the Denver Center. For the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, he has directed 10 productions, including Love! Valour! Compassion!, bare, The Judas Kiss, Next Fall, Laramie Project, Sister Mary Ignatius, and others. It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is Mr. Church’s first work at TheatreSquared.
The creative team for It’s a Wonderful Life includes scenic designer Kiah Kayser, lighting designer Caitlin Rapoport Smith, costume designer Ruby Kemph, sound designer Jae Shanks, properties master Brodie Jasch, and production stage manager Shannon Jones.
TheatreSquared’s production is made possible in part with support from show sponsors Bob and Becky Alexander and show sponsors Scott and Shizuko Price, Stout Executive Search, and the Walmart Museum.
Performances are scheduled November 29-December 31, 2017, Wednesdays through Sundays at Walton Arts Center’s Nadine Baum Studios (505 W. Spring St., Fayetteville, AR).
Wednesday–Friday: 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 2:00 p.m.; 7:30 p.m.
Sunday: 2:00 p.m.; 7:00 p.m.
Special additional holiday-week performances are scheduled Friday, December 20 at 2:00 p.m. and Tuesday, December 26 at 7:30 p.m. There is no 7:00 p.m. performance on December 24.
The show runs 110 minutes with one intermission.
Ticket & Subscription Info
Through T2’s Lights Up! For Access program, supported by the Walmart Foundation, SNAP benefit recipients can purchase $5 tickets and patrons under the age of 30 can purchase $10 tickets. For more, visit theatre2.org/lights-up.
Subscription packages for the rest of TheatreSquared's 2017/18 Season are also on sale. Subscription options include four-play packages starting at $67. Limited tickets are also available to T2’s Opening Night Series on the first Friday of each production, which includes a catered reception and a champagne toast. Subscriptions can be reserved by calling (479) 571-2785 or by visiting theatre2.org/subscribe.
Opportunities to Engage
The T2 run of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play includes these additional opportunities to peek behind the scenes and celebrate the best of the season:
Meet the Director of It’s a Wonderful Life, Jeff Church: Mon., November 20
@ The Bar at Whole Foods, Fayetteville
Part social hour, part behind-the-scenes preview, this event will give you the chance to to get up close and personal with our director and get answers to those burning questions you've always wanted to ask.
Holiday Eve Celebration Performances: Sunday, Dec. 24 and Dec. 31
Join us for special holiday performances on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve with complimentary hot chocolate and cookies for our audience before the show.
Pure Joy Matinees
Following a tradition of Ice cream at the theatre that dates back more than a 100 years, T2 will partner with Pure Joy Ice Cream have custom, local ice cream flavors at every Saturday and Sunday matinee in December of It’s a Wonderful Life.
TheatreSquared is Northwest Arkansas’ professional regional theatre, offering an intimate live theatre experience for 40,000 patrons each year in its 175-seat space and in schools throughout the state. TheatreSquared was recognized by the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards, as one of the nation’s 10 most promising emerging theatres. TheatreSquared has experienced remarkable growth in recent seasons, expanding its audience tenfold in the past five years. The theatre recently broke ground on a new 50,000-square-foot facility to be completed in mid-2019, and launched the $34 million Our Next Stage Campaign to support construction and a sustainable transition. Designs and campaign information are online at ournextstage.org.
Major funding for the TheatreSquared Season 12 is provided by The Walton Family Foundation, Inc.; the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts; the Walker Charitable Foundation; the Walmart Foundation; the Windgate Charitable Foundation; and by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.
It’s a Wonderful Life is made possible in part with support from show sponsors Bob and Becky Alexander and show sponsors Scott and Shizuko Price, Stout Executive Search, and the Walmart Museum.
Major marketing support for TheatreSquared Season 12 is provided by Experience Fayetteville, the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Fayetteville Flyer, Cox Communications, KNWA, CitiScapes, KUAF, and MailCo USA.