It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

adapted by Joe Landry

Directed by Stephanie Gularte
“a delightful experience…” -Tampa Bay Times
“One of the best holiday shows around. Fresh and inventive. Highly recommended.” -Chicago Sun-Times
This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940’s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings dozens of characters to the stage, and live, on-stage sound effects, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers a world in which he’d never been born one fateful Christmas Eve.

December 16 – 24, 2017

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General Admission: $30

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Colleen Cherry (Sally Applewhite – Mary Hatch) is thrilled to return for her third year in It’s a Wonderful Life. She recently appeared in the Jobsite Theater/Straz Center co-production of The Threepenny Opera after starring in their production of Lizzie last year. Previous American Stage credits include Hysteria, Wit, The Vagina Monologues, and A Doll’s House. She received her BA in Performing Arts from The University of Tampa where favorite shows included Falsettos, Midsummer, and Sweet Charity. Regional credits include: Silence! The Musical (Jobsite Theater/Straz Center); My Fair Lady (Asolo Repertory Theatre); Grease (Show Palace Dinner Theater); Tartuffe (Tampa Repertory Theatre); Shipwrecked (New Stage Theater); Rocky Horror (Straz Center); Taming of the Shrew & Merry Wives of Windsor (Theatre Under the Stars in NH); five years of children’s theatre tours with Stages Productions, as well as several staged readings in Manhattan Class Company’s Freshplay Festival in NYC. She is a founding member of Avant-Guardian, producer of Best of the Bay award-winning cabarets and immersive theatre including Sexxx Dreams & Much Ado: Immersive Performance & Exhibition. She is a featured vocalist with the 20 piece band The Florida Bjorkestra singing the lead on Life on Venus: The Florida Bjorkestra Plays Bowie and The Florida Bjorkestra’s Buffyfest at The Palladium. By day she works as an Administrative Associate and Teaching Artist at American Stage.

Jim Sorensen* (Jake Laurent – George Bailey) Off-Broadway/New York credits include The Body Beautiful, Plain & Fancy (York), Miracle on 34th Street (Engeman), Plagued: A Love Story (NYMF). Regional credits include The 39 Steps, A Few Good Men (Flat Rock Playhouse), Into the Woods, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Fulton), Les Miserables (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina). Florida credits include Butler (Florida Studio), South Pacific, 1776(Asolo), Time Stands Still (Banyan), The Buffalo Kings, Cabaret, Becky Shaw, The Burnt Part Boys (freeFall), The Rocky Horror Show(American Stage), The Blue Room (Stageworks). 2012 BOTB Best Actor, 2014 TTB Outstanding Featured Actor, 2016 Handy Award Best Supporting Actor. A proud member of Actors’ Equity, Jim is also the Operations Manager at American Stage. Much love to my beautiful wife, Natalie.

Richard B. Watson* (Freddie Filmore – Potter & Others) was most recently seen as Dogberry in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Max in THE ROYALE, Selig in JOE TURNER’S COME & GONE, Sumner in the first national tour of CHEERS LIVE ON STAGE, Peter Tchaikovsky in Mozart In The Jungle; Arkansas Rep, Asolo Rep, Pioneer, Sacramento Music Circus, Pittsburgh Public, and Disney World. Shakespeare credits include: MACBETH, PERICLES, HENRY V, HENRY VIII, RICHARD III, KING JOHN, HAMLET, KING LEAR, OTHELLO, TEMPEST, TAMING OF THE SHREW, MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, AS YOU LIKE IT, TITUS ANDRONICUS; John Adams in 1776, Henry Higgins in MY FAIR LADY, Zach in A CHORUS LINE, Long John Silver in TREASURE ISLAND: A NEW MUSICAL, Applegate in DAMN YANKEES, George in WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, CP Ellis in THE BEST OF ENEMIES, Sherlock Holmes in SHERLOCK HOLMES & THE WEST END HORROR, James Lawson in RACE, Squeers/Hawk in NICHOLAS NICKLEBY. Film & TV credits include: PS, I Love You; and Law & Order: Ci. MFA from The Academy For Classical Acting.

Alison Burns* (Lana Sherwood – Violet & Others) is thrilled to be back at American Stage, having starred in four previous shows; HAIRSPRAY (Velma), RENT (Maureen), The Rocky Horror Show (Janet) and THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE (Olive). Off Broadway credit: DISENCHANTED! National/World Tours: RENT and David Friedman’s LISTEN TO MY HEART. Regional favorites: TICK, TICK… BOOM! (Jobsite Project) I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE. (Jaeb Theatre) MAN OF LA MANCHA, COMEDY OF ERRORS, BERNARDA ALBA (freeFall Theatre) and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (New Stage). Choreography credits: ROCKY HORROR, GODSPELL, RESPECT, SILENCE and LIZZIE at Jobsite. Lyricist credits: A BIG APPLE CHRISTMAS, WAIST WATCHERS and HOLIDAY PARTY OF ONE . Alison is a graduate of AMDA, and a voice/acting coach to students of all ages at freeFall Theatre and Find Your Light Coaching – – Thanks AS! Love to Chris, Emma and Hannah. For my brother. @alisonburns1234

Dean Wick (Harry ‘Jazzbo’ Heywood – Clarence & Others) has worked in variety of performance and technical capacities, most recently reprising his role as the Shooter in THE SHOOTER for Read No More, at Gulfport Community Players as Zbrowoski in MODIGLIANI, Rueben in ESCANABA IN DA MOONLIGHT, and Moses in WHOLLY MOSES, for which he received a Cathy award. For Halloween, Dean conceived and produced in conjunction with Rachel Harrison The Gallery of Mortality, which was exhibited at the Crosley Estate, Studio@620, and City of Imagination, featuring a walking tour through 3-dimensional illustrations of works by Edgar Allan Poe. He has provided scenic design, construction, props, or lighting for local theaters such as American Stage, Asolo Rep, Florida Studio Theatre, St. Petersburg City Theater, and Studio@620, and was a member of the production staff at the Sterling Renaissance Festival in New York for 12 seasons.

Kody Hopkins (Foley) is excited to be joining American Stage as one of its 2017-18 Acting/Production Apprentices. He holds a BFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he performed in a diverse array of plays from school tours to Shakespeare. Some of his favorite shows while there include “Asleep on the Wind”, “Pinocchio”, and “From Up Here”. This will be his first time on an Equity Stage, and he’d like to thank the company for this wonderful opportunity!

“It’s a delightful experience, mostly because everyone in it seems to understand what they are there to do and then does those things well…a relaxing and entertaining evening.”

-Andrew Meacham, Tampa Bay Times
Review: ‘It’s A Wonderful Life” Radio Play a Charming Diversion at American Stage