Christmas Holidays Reporter's Notebook Top

Tune in to a radio version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Courtesy director Newton Holt, the PCHS theatre director. of Pekin Community HIgh School Theatre Department.

Pekin, Illinois, U.S.A. As the idiom goes, “the show must go on!”  Yet in the midst of a global pandemic, how can the show go on? 

Going back to school placed the Pekin Community High School Theatre Department with questions as to how to handle their Fall play given the pandemic. 

The PCHS Theatre Department found a way: a radio play.

Today, the department premiered its adaptation of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the Christmas classic from 1947 that tells the story of George Bailey as he was given the opportunity to see what his life would be like if he were never born.

I was a part of this new experience, and let me tell you, it was odd, yet uplifting.

Pekin Community High School theater students Andrew Lambe, left, and Aiden Foreman, center, work with drama director Newton Holt (seated) work on Pekin High School’s production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a radio play. (Photo courtesy of theater director Newton Holt.)

Any sense of normalcy in this strange time is amazing. Even better, this play is so relevant to today’s world.

Instead of rehearsing on a stage, all characters recorded their lines into a microphone. All those individual lines were later compiledinto a 2-hour production, including sound effects similar to a modern podcast.

The number of hours that went into the production make up for the experience of being able to participate and to share with the world.

After all, no pandemic can deny us the right to see that all of us truly has “a wonderful life.”

You can listen to the PCHS Theatre Production of “It’s a Wonderful Life” available on Spotify from December 11 to 13 here: 

Norah Springborn is a Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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