It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Play to be Performed by Red Knights
As Red Knight athletes compete in championship tournaments, Red Knight actors wait for the curtain to rise on their own shining moment this fall. This year, BSM’s drama department has taken a new approach to allow students to safely perform in the midst of COVID-19. The senior high will be putting on a radio show version of It’s a Wonderful Life in late November of this year.
This format of the production, though a bit more complicated, has made it easier for students to attend rehearsal from almost anywhere. Mr. Jake Mahler, artistic director of the drama department, says, “Rehearsals are going well. Wanting to be able to rehearse safely was one of the biggest components in our choice of a radio play instead of a traditional play, and we have a chunk of the cast coming to rehearsal via Zoom. It has been challenging to make the same connections when everyone isn't present, but we're doing our best.”
The performance will be streamed live online rather than viewed in the theater as an ode to the “old fashioned radio play style of gathering around in the living room with the family to enjoy the performance,” Mahler said. The cast will be positioned at socially-distanced microphones and sound effect stations when performing. Sound effects will all be produced organically, not electronically, which will add to the “old-school” feel of the show. Audiences can expect the production to run under an hour and be entertaining for all ages - perfect for families to enjoy together. Additionally, audiences will be able to recognize the best moments from the original movie It’s a Wonderful Life and enjoy a special guest performer in the role of Clarence.
During the rehearsal process, Mahler and Drama Adviser Ms. Caroline Stroh have given actors the chance to engage with guest speakers from the Minneapolis and Chicago theater scenes to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion in the theater. According to Mahler, “We've got a great group that wants to feel part of the deeper conversations happening in our world today.” The cast hopes the show’s positivity will warm audiences' hearts. Mahler shared, “We want this show to be able to reveal that despite the hardships, it is possible to come together and show love for your neighbor.”
This medium of performance has never been done at BSM before, and the cast is excited to invite audiences to listen in and enjoy! More information about the performance will be updated at www.bsmschool.org/drama.
*Photos by Betsy Brill '24