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WARWICK, RI (December 2, 2020) — The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre (The Gamm) and The Public’s Radio (89.3FM) have teamed up to co-produce the timeless classic It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, which is above all, a celebration of the human spirit at a time when that spirit is collectively challenged. Thanks to the generosity of Presenting Sponsor Greenwood Credit Union, and support from the Rhode Island HArT Grant Recovery Program, the production will be free-of-charge and available to a much larger audience through the medium of public radio.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with The Public’s Radio,” said Gamm’s Managing Director Amy Gravell. “For so long, they have been an integral voice of strength and connection throughout our community. We are grateful to them for helping us share this beautiful story as a gift to listeners near and far.”
President, CEO and General Manager of The Public’s Radio, Torey Malatia said “It is a privilege to use the reach of our public media institution to bring a great theatre production to life for audiences who can safely enjoy it from their homes.”
It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, adapted by Joe Landry from the screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra and Jo Swerling, was performed last December at The Gamm to popular and critical acclaim. “If you think staging ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, everybody’s favorite Christmas movie, as a reading with sound effects would be an unpardonable sin, then you have forgotten the kind of theatrical magic Warwick’s Gamm Theatre is capable of.” –The Providence Journal
Gamm Artistic Director Tony Estrella, will reprise his role as George Bailey and reunite with last year’s production team to take on the challenge of turning a “live” radio play into a “real” radio play. “Wonderful Life was the beating heart of our 35th year and with the pandemic gaining strength and all of us navigating an anxious holiday season, it is even more resonant this time around. George Bailey’s story is a reminder that decency and selflessness are the core values of citizenship, a community is only as strong as its most vulnerable members, and no one is too small to matter or make a difference.”
This family-friendly play is set in a radio studio on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1946, with radio personalities retelling the redemptive story of George Bailey. The script transposes the movie classic from screen to stage, as if it were a live radio broadcast. In the case of this co-production, it actually will be a radio broadcast, although pre-recorded. A cast of eight actors play multiple characters, with original radio jingles and two Foley artists creating sound effects. This year’s production is directed once again by Damon Kiely. An additional actor and Foley artist have joined the company to enhance this year’s exciting, purely aural experience.
The cast comprises Tony Estrella, Jeff Church, Angela Lynsey Ford, Madeleine Lambert, Richard Noble, Cliff Odle, Fred Sullivan, Jr., Emily Turtle, and Foley artists D.J. Potter and William Malloy; music direction by Charles Cofone, and production management by Jessica Hill. For the safety of cast and crew, artists are recording from their own homes, with production assistance from The Public’s Radio. It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is being produced in special arrangement with SAG/AFTRA the union representing Film, TV and Recording artists throughout the U.S.
It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play will air on 89.3FM on December 24 & 31 at 6:30PM and on December 25 & January 1 at 2:00PM. Run time is 90 minutes. The show may also be streamed while on air at thepublicsradio.org or gammtheatre.org.