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It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

Written by Joe Landry, Directed by Matthew Socey.  Anderson University, December 2011/December 2012
Byrum Hall, Anderson University Theatre.
Second Stage, Theatre On the Square (Indianapolis)

It's a Wonderful Life is one of the most well-known stories of the modern era. If you haven't seen the black and white classic, more than likely you've at least heard of it. This script-turned-Christmas-staple is given new life in Joe Landry's radio adaptation, meant to be preformed live in-front of a studio audience. Five voice actors bring the characters off the page, often having conversations with themselves, using their physicality and vocal pyrotechnics to differentiate from one citizen of Bedford Falls to the next. They are aided in the creation of this world by two sound-technicians who produce all of the sound effects for the script with hand props spread on a six-by-two-foot table.


The set was designed for two locations: The Theatre at Anderson University (a 36'-0" proscenium with about a 20' space between the front of the audience and the scrim curtain) and the second stage at Theatre on The Square (a 26'-0" proscenium and a 12' space between the audience and the back wall). Aside from the consideration of the difference of spaces, the set had to fit in a 12 passenger van to be transported from one location to the next. To aid in the ease of strike and rebuild, I designed the half-walls of the set to come apart in sections so that the angles would remain intact. The baseboard and chairrails also remained on the walls during the move, as did the garland. Strike of the set took less than two hours (including the set dressing around the audience) and rebuild took an hour or less.


December 2011

Director: Matthew Socey
Lighting Designer: Ronn Johnstone
Scenic Designer: Sarah White
Costume Coordinator: Sarah White
Props Designer: Kathleen Warner
Technical Director: Kathleen Warner

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