It's a Wonderful Life
Dramatized by James W. Rodgers. Adapted from the film by Frank Capra.
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, whose dreams of escape and adventure have been quashed by family obligation and civic duty, whose guardian angel has to descent on Christmas Eve to save him from despair and to remind him—by showing him what the world would have been like had he never been born—that his has been, after all, a wonderful life. 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.
By Thornton Wilder
Wilder violated nearly every convention of modern theater in having minimal set, no props and characters that spoke directly to the audience. His quintessential piece of Americana follows the lives and loves of the Gibbs and Webb families as they struggle with living and dying in a young country. As the Stage Manger intimates, “In our town, we like to know that facts about everybody.”