Theatre Dept. puts on holiday classic

Rege’nte Myers and Summer Jacobs

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The Eastern Theatre Department presented “It’s A Wonderful Life: Radio Play” over the weekend. The show was directed by theatre instructor Christopher Gadomski. 

This radio play is based off of the popular holiday movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett and Frank Capra.  

It is about a character named George Bailey, played by Ty Patterson, who grows up thinking he has a wonderful life. Throughout the play Bailey faces different obstacles, good and bad. 

When choosing a play, the department was looking for a vintage holiday story. 

“About four years ago we did ‘A Christmas Carol’ and we didn’t want to repeat ourselves. We wanted to do something that had a popular appeal,” Gadomski said. 

Gadomski said he was a fan of the movie so the choice was easy to make. 

“The movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is a classic popular movie and also one of my favorites,” Gadomski said. “To do a radio play version of it seemed like to do something that would appeal greater to the community.” 

The cast and crew faced some challenges along the way. 

“Some challenges were how to get some of our actors to do multiple different voices. We had more young ladies audition for the play than young men,” Gadomski said. “There were a lot of characters in the script who were men. So, it was a matter of finding how could the young ladies do some of those voices.” 

The show had 12 actors and 30 parts that needed to be voiced in the play, but Gadomski said the actors were able to work well with what they had. 

“Radio also has that unique ability to allow actors to just act through their vocal qualities and not have any type of visual bias going on about that,” Gadomski said. 

Gadomski said he thinks the play has the ability to speak to a wide range of people. 

“We all have seasons in our life, where life seems worthless and nothing we do can make a difference,” Gadomski said. “What we really need to understand is that we may not make a big difference to the world, but we might make a difference in the world for one or two people. Even in the depths of despair, there are people who love us, people whose lives we make an impact and make a difference.” 

A retired Eastern professor Doug Mayer, and his wife Joanna Mayer, attended the radio show as well. 

The couple said the play was a throwback for them. 

“I really enjoyed the show,” Doug Mayer said. “It was very entertaining, it brought back memories of the 1940s.” 

“I loved the show; it brought so many memories,” Joanna Mayer said. “It reminded me of other radio plays I listened to back when I was younger.” 

Rege’nte Myers and Summer Jacobs can be reached at 581-2812

 or at [email protected].