STEUBENVILLE, OH— Merry Christmas, George Bailey! was one of the most challenging plays Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Theatre Department has ever undertaken.
Merry Christmas, George Bailey! is adapted from the popular Frank Capra movie It’s a Wonderful Life. The play was presented as a live radio show set in the 1940s, with much of the action taking place through voice acting.
“This play hits on several levels. It’s a live show for the audience as they watch the recreation of a 1940s radio play with all of its 1940s technology unfolding with sound effects and live music,” said John Walker, assistant professor of theater at Franciscan University and director of the play. “And it’s a fresh approach to one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time.”
Adding to the authenticity of a radio studio broadcast were audience response applause signs, early radio-era microphones, live music, and a cast of 25 students dressed in 1940s attire and waiting in chairs for their ques.
“Ironically, we are using the latest digital technology to record the performance, which will be broadcast on EWTN’s 350 radio affiliates nationwide during the Christmas season,” said Walker.
The play is adapted by Shirlee Hurst Shields by permission from Leicester Bay Theatricals.