It's a Wonderful Life

Reno Stage Scene; ‘It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play’ at RLT

Travel back to the 1940s and experience an old-time radio play with the timeless holiday story of George Bailey and It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

~Review and Photos by Dana Nöllsch~

The Story of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is a stage adaptation of the classic holiday movie. The unique twist is that the play is presented as a live 1940s radio broadcast. Six radio actors play many characters, including a Foley artist doing the sound effects. 

It’s a Wonderful Life is the story of the life of George Bailey, a kind-hearted man who has become Frustrated with the day-to-day battle keeping the family business afloat. This frustration leads George to contemplate suicide. Heaven takes notice of this potential tragedy and decides to do something about it.

With the help of Clarence, a lovable angel, George discovers what life would be like without him. These revelations help George to see that life is worth living. All of this takes place on Christmas Eve, setting the stage for a Christmas miracle.

However, before Clarence can help George, he has to see George’s life up to this point. This is the journey that the radio actors take the audience on, and quite the journey it is. Also, if Clarence successfully saves George from ending his life, this deserving angel may earn his wings.

This is the story that the radio actors are performing for the live audience. 

The radio actors go from character to character seamlessly as the story unfolds for the audience.

Check out the photos to get a glimpse of RLTs It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.

More about the Performances

The performances are delightful as the audience can feel the character’s emotions from the story portrayed by the actors playing the radio actors playing the characters for the radio audience. Trust me, it is much less confusing than the sentence you just read. 

The cast’s ability to captivate the audience with their facial expressions and the emotional delivery of the story is exhilarating. When we saw the play, the audience was filled with students from local high schools. These students were visibly taken with the story and unafraid to show their emotions. This cast certainly can play to an audience.

Each cast member is outstanding and should be very proud of what they have created.

Let’s Talk about the Set

As you can see from the photos, the set is an entertaining reproduction of a 1940s radio station. There is a table for the Foley Artist and vintage equipment. There is even an On Air sign and Applause Signs so the audience can participate in the show.

The costumes are delightfully vintage as well. This creates a setting that will make you believe you have been transported back in time.

The Bottom Line

Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to this timeless holiday story told by the gifted cast of RLTs It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play. Bring your family along with you. They will be happy you did.

It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

Adapted by Joe Landry

Directed by: Christopher Willson & Melissa Taylor


Adam Semas as Jake Laurents

Stephen Schillo as Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood

Jim Sturtevant as Freddy Filmore

Melody Ricketts as Sally Applewhite

Hannah Johnson as Lana Sherwood

Marissa Seaman as Foley Artist


Asst. Direction: Liliana Abel-Suarez

Stage Manager: Kendra Olson

Asst. Stage Manager: Felicia Dominguez

Original Music and Musical Arrangements by Kevin Connors

Scenic, Lighting, Prop, & Sound Designer: Chad Sweet

Accent & Dialect Coach: Rosie Brownlow-Calkin

Intimacy Director: Thomas Rao

Costumer: Gene Brown

Dramaturg: Luis Galvez

Performance Dates

November 10, 11*, 16, 17, 18, 25, 30, Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 @ 7:30 pm

November 12, 19**, 26, Dec. 3, 10, 17 @ 2pm

*denotes PAY-WHAT-YOU-WISH performance

**denotes talk-back performance 

† denotes captioned performance

Featuring pre-show performances by the Reno Retro Radio Dolls on Nov. 11, 16, & Dec. 9.


Est. 1935
147 E. Pueblo St. Reno, NV 89502
(775) 813-8900

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