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It's A Wonderful Life

by Adapted By James W. Rodgers
December 6-10

Sponsored by

Directed By: Jim Ryen & J.C. LaBar

Put down the remote, get off the couch and hurry down to Entertainment, Inc!'s Old Armory Theatre for a faithful adaptation of Frank Capra's holiday movie classic. This beautiful story comes to life on our stage making this a holiday treat for the entire family. In our American culture It's a Wonderful Life has become almost as familiar as Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The story is a natural for a stage adaptation: the saga of George Bailey, the Everyman from the small town of Bedford Falls.  This faithful adaptation has all your favorite characters: George and Mary Hatch, Clarence, Uncle Billy, Violet, and, of course, the Scrooge-like villain, Mr. Potter. This fine dramatization not only celebrates the faith of the season, it also celebrates the American philosophy of life: hard work, fair play and the love and support of one's family and community will be rewarded. 

It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), originally made for Liberty Films, is one of the most popular and heartwarming films ever made by director Frank Capra.  Frank Capra regarded this film as his own personal favorite – it was also James Stewart’s favorite of all his feature films.  It was actually a box office flop at the time of its release and only became the Christmas movie classic in the 1970s due to repeated showings at Christmas-time when its copyright protection slipped and it fell into the public domain in 1974 and TV stations could air it for free.  [Republic Pictures restored its copyright claim to the film in 1993, with exclusive video rights to it.  Currently, it can be shown only on the NBC-TV network and its distribution rights belong to Paramount Pictures.]

It is actually a dark, bittersweet post-war tale of a savings-and-loan manager who struggles against a greedy banker and his own self-doubting nature in a small town.  Earnest do-gooder George Bailey (James Stewart) recognizes his life as wonderful and truly rich, even in its humdrum and bleak nature, only after suffering many hardships, mishaps and fateful trials (including compromised dreams of youth to leave the town and seek fame and fortune, other sacrifices, dismay, losses and the threat of financial ruin, and suicide).  He is given encouragement by a whimsical, endearing, trainee-angel named Clarence (Henry Travers).

The story turns “Dickensian” when the hysterical, despairing, and melancholy family man is shown what the small town (Bedford Falls, now renamed Pottersville after the town’s evil tycoon) would be like without him.  It’s a frightening, nightmarish, nourish view of the world (at Christmas-time) that brings him back from self-destruction.  He returns to the idyllic, small-town world that he left, with renewed faith and confidence in life itself.  Hence, the title: It’s A Wonderful Life.



George Bailey                             

                                Jamie Hoggarth

Clarence Odbody

Brad Dokken

Mr. Gower

B. Michael Quale

Young George

Austin Anderson

Harry Bailey

Eric Pozgay

Mother Bailey

LeAnn Eckroth

Aunt Tilly

Susan Snyder

Violet Peterson

Kristi Marshall


Vern Ryan


Josh Johansen

Uncle Billy

Alan Domagala

Mary Hatch/Bailey

Susan LaBar

Henry Potter

Steve Ricker

Mr. Potter's Goon

Mitch Melberg

Mr. Potter's Secretary

Mary Chartier

Mrs. Hatch

Carmon Parham

Sam Wainwright

Justin Parkinson

Miss Andrews

Liz Seven

Mrs. Thompson

Jennifer Sommerfeld

Mr. Martini

Justin Parkinson

Mrs. Martini

Lisa Kleyer

Miss Carter

Karen Riekeman

Newspaper Boy

Eric Reinke

Pete Bailey

Klae Ryan

Tommy Bailey

Cameron Fladland

Zuzu Bailey

Cody Ryan

Mr. Welch

Gordon Anderson

Janie Bailey

Bria Goldade