If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the classic Christmas movie It’s A Wonderful Life, maybe more than once.

For many, the 1946 film starring Jimmy Stewart has become as much a part of the holidays as Santa Claus and Rudolph.

This year, thanks to a local theater company, the story of George Bailey, who sacrifices his dreams to help his hometown, and in return is richly rewarded, can be seen live on stage.

Lebanon’s St. James Players will present the adaptation for four performances this week at St. James Lutheran Church, 53 Chestnut Street, Lebanon. Show times are as follows:

  • Thursday Dec. 12 through Saturday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 15 at 2:30 p.m.

Jack Ferry will reprise Stewart’s lead role as George, with Kirstyn Schaeffer playing his devoted wife, Mary. Jack Cantwell plays Clarence Odbody, George’s guardian angel, and James Waldron is the wicked Mr. Potter.

Other locals in the play include Brian Keeney, Sue Discendi, Ron Miller, Linda Alonzo, Carol and Marvin Hollinger, and Tim George – a total of 19 adults and six children in the cast.

Linda Alonzo (Cousin Tilly), Ron Miller (Uncle Billy), and Jack Ferry (George Bailey) during a rehearsal. (Provided photo)

St. James Players founder Karen Dundore-Gulotta is directing the play for the second time. She and “about 75 percent of the current cast” performed it four years ago at the Lebanon Community Theater.

The original film was directed by Frank Capra and wasn’t an instant hit. In fact, it was a box office loser and did not win the Oscar for best film that year.

Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Ocracoke, North Carolina. The slender barrier island off the Carolina coast and its small village were devastated by Hurricane Dorian this last September, and more recently by an unnamed November storm. Director Dundore-Gulotta has a personal connection to the island, having spent a summer living and working on Ocracoke.

A scene from a dress rehearsal held earlier this week. The show opens Thursday night. (Provided photo)

Better hurry if you want to go

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday shows are already sold out, but a few Thursday night tickets remained as of publication time. Tickets are $10.00, open seating, and can be obtained by calling 717-708-6110.

Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...


LebTown membership required to comment.

Already a member? Login here

Leave a comment

Kindly keep your comments brief and respectful. We will remove comments that do not abide by these simple rules.