It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
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By Joe Landry
SHOW TIMES Thursday, December 7th
- Sunday, December 17th

Wed, Thurs, Fri & Sat 7:30pm
Wed & Sun 2:00pm, Sat Dec. 16 2:00pm

The Ivoryton Playhouse Holiday show runs until December 17th. It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play by Joe Landry was inspired by the classic American film by Frank Capra. This production is performed as a 1940s live radio broadcast in front of a studio audience. Five actors perform the dozens of characters in the radio play as well as produce the sound effects.

The play works like a fable, sort of a “Christmas Carol” in reverse: Instead of a mean old man being shown scenes of happiness, we have a hero who plunges into despair. As fans of the movie know, George has grown up in Bedford Falls, an idyllic small town, determined to get out. He plans to see the world and build skyscrapers or something else huge when he grows up but circumstances keep him at home. When the accidental loss of $8,000 leaves George on the verge of disaster, he contemplates killing himself and is saved by Clarence, George’s slightly bumbling 292-year-old guardian angel. By showing George what Bedford Falls and numerous loved ones would have been like if George had never been born, Clarence manages to turn him around. Lifted from a suicidal depression, George Bailey is a man with a reawakened appreciation of his life and the people he loves. It all happens on Christmas Eve, and of course, an angel gets his wings.

Bursting with feel good holiday spirit, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is traditional, family friendly entertainment for all ages. Directed by Sasha Bratt, this show is an antidote to cynicism and a love letter to good old fashioned Christmas fun. Musical Director is Frank Natter and the cast includes Playhouse Associate Artistic Director, Daniel Nischan, as George Bailey, Norm Rutty, David Cardone, Moira O’Sullivan, Rick Malone, Sara Kozlow, Michael Hinton, Addison Marchese, Antonia Marchese and Finnian Boyles. Set design by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott, sound by Tate Burmeister and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina.

Make the Playhouse part of your family holiday tradition this year. Come and visit the village of Ivoryton, decorated with over 500,000 Christmas lights – have dinner and take in a great show at the Playhouse.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or purchase online.

Performances This Week:

Wednesday, December 13 at 2:00pm
Wednesday, December 13 at 7:30pm
Thursday, December 14 at 7:30pm
Friday, December 15 at 7:30pm
Saturday, December 16 at 2:00pm
Saturday, December 16 at 7:30pm
Sunday, December 17 at 2:00pm

 

 

Finnian Boyles (Trevor Ward) is an Ivoryton native and currently enrolled in fifth grade at Essex Elementary. Bit by the acting bug young, Finn has attended summer drama camp and performed as Noah Claypool in Shoreline Theater Academy’s Oliver Twist. He is a voracious reader, participates in travel soccer and enjoys occasionally tormenting his sisters. Finn is grateful for this experience and thrilled to be a part of the wonderful cast.

 

 

David Cardone (Ray Gordon) is back at the Ivoryton for the fifth time; seen here in the last three Bells of Dublin Christmas shows and as the Sheriff in The Rainmaker. David just completed Play On! at the Chester Meeting House and recently performed at Andrew Memorial Town Hall as Mr. Saunders in Lend Me A Tenor. Favorite roles include George Hay in Moon Over Buffalo along with roles in Cahoots, Becky’s New Car, The Problem, Noises Off and Earth & Sky, many playing alongside his wife, Nancy.  You can find David & Nancy at Cardone & Daughter Automotive in Old Saybrook.  www.CardoneAndDaughter.com.  Much love to the tall girl who makes everything possible.

 

Michael Hinton (Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood)  Michael Hinton is happy to be making his Ivoryton debut. He has performed regionally throughout New England, New York and in the UK. Previous roles include title roles in Richard II, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, as well as John in Dark of the Moon, Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice, and Sir Lucius O’Trigger in The Rivals. His first film as a director, Odette, is available on Amazon. He is also a frequent audiobook narrator with Tantor Media and teaching artist with Elm Shakespeare. He received his MA in acting from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, UK. He has also studied at Shakespeare and Co. and UCB. MichaelHintonActor.com

 

Sarah Kozlow (Sally Applewhite) is so excited to be back at Ivoryton Playhouse. You may have seen her last in their production of Footloose (Urleen). Since then, Sarah has enjoyed touring the country and working regionally. Some of her favorite roles include A Chorus Line (Maggie), the first US reading of Come From Away (Bonnie), Lily’s Crossing (Lily), Miss Saigon (Ellen), 25th Annual…Spelling Bee (Olive), and Chicago (Roxie). She’s also a proud graduate of the Hartt School. She’s humbled and honored to bring this classic story to life with such an inspiring team of creatives.  www.sarahkozlow.com

 

Rick Malone (Freddie Filmore) Ivoryton Playhouse: Saturday Night Fever (Frank, Sr), West Side Story (Lt Schrank/Glad Hand); Equity: John W. Engeman Theater (NY): 1776 (Dr Josiah Bartlett), Miracle on 34th Street (DA Thomas Mara), West Side Story (Officer Krupke), Plaza Suite (u/s Sam Nash/Roy Hubley), South Pacific (Commander Harbison), The Odd Couple (u/s Oscar Madison), Other People’s Money (u/s Lawrence Garfinkle); Majestic Theater (MA): Iris (Monsignor Riley); Playhouse on Park (CT): The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (Chas Weaver); Hartford Stage (CT): Our Town with Hal Holbrook (Farmer McCarty); AEA Equity Membership Candidate; Film: Flesh Is Heir To (Chief of Detectives); Katie Fforde 2015: Decision by the Sea (Paul Bleeker); Why Did I Say Yes (Mayor DeBlanco); SAG-AFTRA; www.nycasting.com/rickmalone

 

Antonia (Nia) R. Marchese (Hope Merryweather) is thrilled to make her début performance with the Ivoryton Playhouse in Its a Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play! Antonia, who is 9 years old, has also performed in Cinderella the Musical with the Madhatters Theater Company and The Snow Angel with Connecticut Children’s Theatre, Inc. with Patty Carver. After the show closes, she will be playing basketball for Valley travel. She also loves to play soccer, sing, cook and bake. Antonia is excited to join this production and to be a part of the Ivoryton Playhouse with her big sister Addi!

 

Addison Marchese (Hazel Jenkins) is a 14 year old freshman at Valley Regional High School. She has been in several shows with the Madhatters Theater Company as well as with Connecticut Children’s Theatre, Inc. with Patty Carver. She has also performed in three previous shows with the Ivoryton Playhouse, Barnum directed by Jacqueline Hubbard, Home for the Holidays directed by Jacqueline Hubbard, and Oliver! directed by R. Bruce Connelly. While Addison enjoys performing, she also enjoys singing in church as well as playing basketball for Valley. Addison is thrilled to be a part of this professional and dynamic cast and to, again, be a part of the Ivoryton Playhouse with her little sister Nia.

 

Daniel Nischan (Jake Laurents) first appeared on stage at Ivoryton Playhouse in the 2004 production of Inherit the Wind featuring Ron Palillo and a Capuchin Monkey named Casper. Since then Daniel has devoted unfathomable amounts of time and energy working for the Playhouse, including cleaning bathrooms, shoveling snow, painting scenery, constructing special effects, hauling furniture, chauffeuring actors, designing sets, and climbing piles of scrap metal in search of that perfect piece of scenery. Favorite roles include Picnic (Hal), Julius Caesar (Cassius), The Glass Menagerie (Jim), Moon Over Buffalo (Paul), and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (Tripp). Ivoryton Playhouse patrons are probably most familiar with Daniel’s work designing sets for this theater, including The Game’s Afoot, South Pacific, Man of La Mancha, West Side Story, in addition to many others. Daniel is grateful to work with a talented cast, an insightful director, and the always amazing Playhouse staff.

 

Moira O’Sullivan (Lana Sherwood) is returning to Ivoryton after being seen in Biloxi Blues and An Inspector Calls. Theatre credits include: Beneath The Gavel (Off-Broadway, 59E59), Oleanna (Playhouse on Park), Red Snow (Insomnium Theater Company), Abduct, Transport, Deliver (Scene Change Festival). TV credits include: I, Witness (Investigation Discovery) and The Cobblestone Corridor (PBS).  She holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is an Upright Citizens Brigade trained improvisor. www.moiraosullivan.com/

 

Norm Rutty (Dayton Parker) once again Norm is delighted to be part of the holiday cast at the Playhouse. Prior appearances include Scrooge in Scrooge the Musical, Uncle Willy in the Philadelphia Story, Norm in the Bells of Dublin 1,2 and 3, The Prime Minister in The King and I, The Duke in Big River and others.  Thanks to a great cast and dedicated crew plus the tireless staff of the Ivoryton Playhouse.

 

Director:  Sasha Bratt

Musical Director:  Frank Natter

Stage Manager:  Holly Price

Scenic Designer:  Daniel Nischan

Lighting Designer:  Marcus Abbott

Sound Designer:  Tate R. Burmeister

Costume and Wig Designer:  Elizabeth Cipollina

 

 

A NOTE FROM JOE LANDRY –

Bringing Frank Capra’s classic film to the stage began almost twenty years ago when longtime friend and teacher Frances Kondziela asked me to pen an adaptation for her high school ensemble.

After the premiere of this original incarnation, the piece was produced by TheatreWorks in New Milford, CT, and was then chosen for its first professional production at the legendary Westport Country Playhouse. When the budget of this (still full-scale, literally putting the film on stage) production skyrocketed and was dropped from the slate, the concept of staging the piece as a live radio play of the period was born.

This radio play adaptation was originally mounted at Stamford Center for the Arts in 1996, and has been performed there since with great success. It was at Stamford that the play was fine tuned and took shape as the piece published here. Through word of mouth alone, productions have since taken place around the country, including the noted Chicago premiere at American Theatre Company.

My thanks to all those who have been involved since the beginning of the this journey, including Frances Kondziela, Jim McKenzie, Julie Monahan, George Moredock, Doug Moser, Jane Desy, Barbara Meyer, Cathy Mulligan, Kevin Connors, Colin Eastland, Achilles Tsakiridis, Doug and everyone at Playscripts.com and my loving and supportive parents, Paul and Mary, sister Hope and brother Tom. And thanks to you, dear reader, for your interest in retelling this timeless tale. – Joe Landry (August 2006)

JOE LANDRY (Playwright) At age 12, Joe’s first job was in the film department at the library in his hometown of Fairfield, CT. This was before the dawn of home video, back in the days of 16mm, and their permanent collection included It’s a Wonderful Life, The Lady Vanishes and other early Hitchcock films. Joe’s other main interest was the theatre. Encouraged by his parents, Joe was introduced to various theatres which he came to call home, including Playwrights Horizons and Roundabout Theatre Company in New York, Westport Country Playhouse and others. In 1995, Joe founded Second Guess Theatre Company, which produced over two dozen new plays, adaptations and revivals to critical-acclaim. In 1997, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play premiered in Stamford, CT and has since enjoyed productions around the country. Joe’s other plays include Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play and an adaptation of the cult classic Reefer Madness. Other projects include Mothers and Sons, a musical co-written with Kevin Connors and Lifeboat, Dahling! with Bert Bernardi. www.joelandry.com

 

 

Check back here for press releases and photos!

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The Ivoryton Playhouse Holiday show opens on December 7th and runs until December 17th. It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play by Joe Landry was inspired by the classic American film by Frank Capra, It’s a Wonderful Life. This production is performed as a 1940s live radio broadcast in front of a studio audience. Five actors perform the dozens of characters in the radio play as well as produce the sound effects.

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play premiered in 1996 at Stamford Center for the Arts in Stamford, Connecticut, and has since been produced around the country to great critical acclaim.

The play works like a fable, sort of a “Christmas Carol” in reverse: Instead of a mean old man being shown scenes of happiness, we have a hero who plunges into despair. As fans of the movie know, George has grown up in Bedford Falls, an idyllic small town, determined to get out. He plans to see the world and build skyscrapers or something else huge when he grows up but circumstances keep him at home. When the accidental loss of $8,000 leaves George on the verge of disaster, he contemplates killing himself and is saved by Clarence, George’s slightly bumbling 292-year-old guardian angel. By showing George what Bedford Falls and numerous loved ones would have been like if George had never been born, Clarence manages to turn him around. Lifted from a suicidal depression, George Bailey is a man with a reawakened appreciation of his life and the people he loves. It all happens on Christmas Eve, and of course, an angel gets his wings.

Bursting with feel good holiday spirit, It’s a Wonderful Life:  A Live Radio Play is traditional, family friendly entertainment for all ages. Directed by Sasha Bratt, this show is an antidote to cynicism and a love letter to good old fashioned Christmas fun. Musical Director is Frank Natter and the cast includes Playhouse Associate Artistic Director, Daniel Nischan, as George Bailey, Norm Rutty, David Cardone, Moira O’Sullivan, Rick Malone, Sara Kozlow, Michael Hinton, Addison Marchese, Antonia Marchese and Finnian Boyles. Set design by Dan Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott, sound by Tate Burmeister and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina.

Make the Playhouse part of your family holiday tradition this year. Come and visit the village of Ivoryton, decorated with over 500,000 Christmas lights – have dinner and take in a great show at the Playhouse.

It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play opens on Thursday, December 7th and runs thru December 17th. Performance times are Sunday matinees at 2pm, Evening performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm.There is also a Wednesday matinee on December 13th and a Saturday matinee on December 16th.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for soct-logo-2012_for_largemething to do? Ivoryton Playhouse has been voted best place to see live theatre by readers of The Shoreline Times for three years in a row. Come to Essex and visit our historic, professional theatre – a Connecticut treasure!

 

 

 

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Did You
Know

This stage play makes use of a Foley artist. A Foley artist recreates the everyday sound effects and realistic ambient sounds that a play on the radio portrays. The props used in radio plays often do not react the same way acoustically as their real life counterparts. Foley sounds are used to enhance the auditory experience of the radio play and can be anything from the swishing of clothing and footsteps to squeaky doors and breaking glass to create a sense of reality within a scene.