Song & Stage

‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Radio Play Debuts Wednesday on WPPB

A locally produced radio adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life, the classic Christmas story, will have its debut airing this Wednesday, December 17, on WPPB 88.3 FM.

The hour-long broadcast, using the script by Joe Landry, is a co-production by WPPB’s Bonnie Grice and Michael Disher, the creative director of Center Stage at Southampton Cultural Center. The cast members put on a staged show for one weekend in November before heading into the studio to make a recording.

The story harkens back to a simpler, more hopeful time, after World War II. It punctuates family values, community and strength, Disher says. “It’s not so much about Christmas presents as it is your presence, and how much that is worth, not just to yourself, but everybody around you.”

The script allows for a cast of as few as five or as large as 25, with actors taking on several roles.

This production uses 14 actors—including Grice, who plays the elder Violet, one of George Bailey’s childhood friends. Rounding out the cast are Richard Adler, Dan Becker, Susan Cincotta, Terrence Fiore, Adam Fronc, Rich Gardini, Barbara Jo Howard, John Hudson, Liam Meaney, Matthew O’Connor, Danielle Shuman, Carol Sjoholm and Susan Wojcek. Two foley artists create the sound effects.

Back in 2011, Disher and Grice had their first radio play collaboration, A Christmas Carol. The Charles Dickens’ tale will also be broadcast throughout the 2014 holiday season, sometimes back-to-back with It’s a Wonderful Life.

Below is the full broadcast schedule for both plays. Tune to 88.3 FM or stream at wppb.org.

Wednesday, December 17
7 p.m. – It’s A Wonderful Life

Thursday, December 18
7 p.m.- A Christmas Carol

Saturday, December 20
6 p.m. – It’s A Wonderful Life
7 p.m. – A Christmas Carol

Sunday, December 21
4 p.m. – A Christmas Carol
5 p.m. – It’s A Wonderful Life

Wednesday, December 24
7 p.m.- A Christmas Carol
8 p.m. – It’s A Wonderful Life

Thursday, December 25
10 a.m. – A Christmas Carol
11 a.m. – It’s a Wonderful Life
3 p.m. – It’s a Wonderful Life
4 p.m. – A Christmas Carol

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