BOX OFFICE 610.644.3500

This Wonderful Life

By Steve Murray

Directed by David Bradley

November 29 - December 30, 2012

Steinbright Stage

Now extended by popular demand!

Share the hope and humor of the most irresistible “second chance” story of all time. Jerry Richardson shines in this theatrical re-telling of the classic holiday film It’s a Wonderful Life. In this delightful re-imagining, one actor portrays George Bailey, Clarence the Angel, Mary, Old Man Potter and the entire population of Bedford Falls, morphing seamlessly from one character to another! Superbly adapted and richly entertaining, this one-man tour de force reminds us of the value of friendship, and how much difference one person can make. Best appreciated by ages 11 and up.

”Richardson captures all the endearing nostalgia and sentimentality of the story.”
—Debra Miller, Stage Magazine

”One Actor, 32 Characters: Q + A with Jerry Richardson”
—Pete Kennedy, Malvern Patch

This production runs approximately 75 minutes with no intermission.

Please note: People's Pass subscribers may use their Passes for This Wonderful Life.

Actors, prices, productions, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional fees or upgrades will apply. Contact the Box Office for details.

Narrator: Jerry Richardson* Director: David Bradley
Set Designer: Jessica Ford
Costume Designer: Abbie Wysor
Lighting Designer: Gregory Miller
Production Stage Manager: Patricia G. Sabato*
Sound Designer and Original Music: Christopher Colucci
Dramaturg: Zak Berkman

* Member, Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.

Explore This Wonderful Life

Haven't seen the movie? Let's catch you up!
George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) has the seemingly picture perfect life: a loving wife, four young children, and his own business that he inherited from his father. However, things are not as they appear on Christmas Eve, George encounters severe business difficulties at the Bailey Building and Loan due to an error by Uncle Billy, who loses the cash that they owe the bank (owned by the Scrooge-esque Mr. Potter). This leads George to a life crisis, forcing him to contemplate the unthinkable act of suicide.

Fortunately, he is saved at the last moment by the appearance of his guardian angel, Clarence. Clarence shows George how much his life meant by showing him how the world would be without him. Finally, George is convinced and Clarence returns him to the world as if nothing had happened.

George returns home to find the entire community gathered at his house raising money for his consistently philanthropic loan business. Even Mr. Potter's accountant donates money to the cause. The movie concludes with George's brother, Harry, bursting in the door, back from the war to greet his big brother. Finally, to the sounds of the entire town singing, "Auld Lang Syne,” a bell rings and George finds out that Clarence has finally realized his angel potential and obtained his wings.

Courtesy of the IRT. Photography: Julie CurryProduction History of This Wonderful Life
This version by Steve Murray was commissioned and produced by Portland Center Stage in 2006.

Since then, actors in Boston, Cleveland, and Laguna Beach, CA and elsewhere have taken on the herculean task of portraying 32 characters of Bedford Falls that flash in and out of the story.

In 2008, Jerry Richardson took up the challenge for a production at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, which was directed by David Bradley. Richardson and Bradley are teaming up again here at People’s Light to share this story of love, community, and renewal.

Everybody's a Character
Jerry Richardson masterfully portrays 30+ characters in This Wonderful Life. Click the image below to see the whole list of characters!

Did you know?
The original theatrical film pitched the movie more as a romance than a moral tale. While not generally controversial, the FBI did receive at least one complaint at the time that "It's a Wonderful Life" was "Communist propaganda" because it portrayed bankers as evil and insensitive.