Who among us hasn't felt a bit like George Bailey this year?
Stuck in Bedford Falls and going nowhere fast? Try cooped up in quarantine with no end in sight! Feeling stressed, fearful, and filled with regrets? Check, check, and check.
What better play, then, for the Concordia Players to take on this semester than the holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”? For those of us, like George, who are searching for purpose, hope, or simply a way out of the suffocation of our present situation, CUW Theatre’s latest production is worth the watch. Click below to watch the full show, or scroll down to see highlights.
A sojourn into virtual theatre
With the constraints of COVID-19, the Players took on a creative route to take the stage.
The virtual show opens on stage manager Vivian Morehouse (played by Olivia Rose Crooks) giving the fictitious announcers of Concordia’s very own WCUW a countdown to air time. Announcer Mitch Marston, played by Aiden O’Donnell, and his co-announcer, Joanie Barber (Kendall Lotto), proceed to guide the audience through an aural array of big-name (scripted) singing acts, old-timey advertisement spots, and, of course, the main event: a vocal dramatization of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
“A Virtual Radio Play of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life'” is the first major drama production that the Concordia Players have undertaken since the onset of the pandemic. For their second production of the season, the Players took on a vocal reenactment (audio only, no visuals) of “A Christmas Carol,” which will premier early next week. Last month, Concordia Theatre also began to release a series of virtual mini-concerts/tributes to singer-songwriters. The singer-songwriter tributes will continue to be released through mid-December.
“We feel incredibly blessed that theatre can live on and find new life in innovative ways,” said Director Lori Woodall-Schaufler. “This was a season of ‘firsts’ for all of us, and we’ve enjoyed exploring these creative avenues communally as novices.”
They came to play
As a cherry on the top of an already stellar production, a few well-known Concordians stepped in as honorary Players for ‘Life’. Click below to view the cameos.
The Steve Guild (Dr. Steve Taylor, Dr. Steve Gerner, and Pastor Steve Smith) for Remington Electric Shaver
President Patrick Ferry and Walter Goodwyn for Bromo Seltzer
Saylor Alberts (with Ryan Murray) for Tide
Eden Nass (with Ryan Murray) for Weston’s Biscuits
— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 262-243-2149.
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