One of the all-time greats of cinema, It’s a Wonderful Life is being adapted by Lacombe’s Homegrown Theatre into a radio play and will be performed during Light Up the Night.
It’s a Wonderful Life is the story of George Bailey, a young dreamer who will mortgage his last dream for the smaller hopes and needs of his neighbors and friends, and Clarence, a 292-year-old angel who can’t swim, and who helps George discover that, “No man is a failure if he has friends.”
Wade Nelson, director, said they have adapted the story to allow for multiple actors playing multiple roles.
”The setting is we the cast in a radio studio in the 1940s presenting the story of George Bailey,” Nelson said. “We have a cast of about 16 to 18 and multiple cast members play multiple characters. It is a fun time.”
This year is the second year Homegrown is performing during Lacombe’s winter festival and this year, the show is taking place at the old Trinity Lutheran Church – which is in the midst of being renovated into the new Lacombe Performing Arts Centre (LPAC).
“We are hoping to make it a Lacombe tradition, doing this in conjunction with Light Up the Night,” Nelson said.
“It has been a lot of fun with a lot of rehearsal time. The cast has been outstanding and we are doing two performances. November 30th at 7 p.m. and December 1st at 7 p.m.”
The cast has been practicing once a week for the past three months, with many of them being first time performers.
“Some of our cast was with us last year and we have people who have never done it before to people who have been on stage all their lives,” Nelson said. “With it being a radio play, we can have our scripts in our hands — which is a bonus for anyone who hasn’t had any experience.
“There is no line memorization needed, but with this cast – we haven’t used our scripts very much. They have really come together and memorized the lines.”
The new LPAC has been a huge improvement for Homegrown’s performance.
“Last year, we did it in one of our local gymnasiums,” Nelson said. “We were rehearsing in the basement of the gymnasium and then bringing everything up to the stage back and forth. It was a challenge to find space so with the LPAC putting this together, it has been absolutely amazing.
“We have everything under one roof, with our mics, sounds, props — everything is here.”
This will be one of the first tests, with Nelson looking to work more and more at the LPAC.
“We will see what the LPAC does with this — we are hoping to put on another two shows this year,” he said.