An American holiday film, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, will come to life as a live ‘40s radio broadcast on stage, according to BYU-Idaho’s official website.
BYU-Idaho’s first ever live radio play will take place Nov. 20-23 and Dec. 3-7 in the Snow Drama Theatre.
“It’s A Wonderful Life” is a well-known movie from the 1940s that tells the story of a man named George Bailey who is burdened by the pressing issues of his life and considering suicide when he is met by an angel named Clarence who shows him what life would be like if he had never existed, according to the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).
Roger Merrill, the play’s director and a teacher in the Theater Department, said this will be a play within a play.
“It will be as if you stepped into a radio studio in 1946,” Merrill said. “Watching the play being created is an experience itself.”
Merrill said there will be five actors who play about 30 different characters. They will be dressed in costumes and have props to portray the characters.
David Martinez, a sophomore studying theater performance and an actor in the play, said that the actors themselves will create the sounds for the live play.
“There will be live sound effects such as car sirens, ice cracking and glass- breaking sounds, along with a whole slew of other sounds,” Martinez said.
He said a common theme throughout the play is charity.
“Charity is not only a word spoken by preachers, but should be lived and practiced by all; if this were to be done, love and kindness would reign instead of pride and fear,” Martinez said.
Martinez said he hopes the audience doesn’t expect the play to be like the movie, because it’s a live radio show.
“We will need people to participate,” Martinez said. “Not in the sense of making them come on stage and helping us pull a rabbit out of a hat, but rather to have them be a part of the performance and experience it with us.”
Martinez said he expects the play to create an experience that many BYU-I students have never witnessed before.
“You get as much as you put into it, and if the audience puts a grand amount into it as well as the performers, there will be a beautiful thing called truth shared with the speakers and the hearers,” Martinez said.