(Courtesy of Husson University)

This holiday story helps show how each individual makes an important impact on the lives of others

BANGOR – Husson University Theatre, the university’s official student theatre club, will perform Joe Landry’s “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” on Dec. 2–4 in The Gracie’s Black Box Theatre.

This feel-good holiday classic will be performed in front of a live audience in a setting similar to a 1930s-style radio broadcast. An ensemble of talented students will help to bring the timeless characters in this classic story to life.

The story is about everyman George Bailey as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. An angel visits Bailey and shows him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

The show is directed, designed, and performed by Husson students and will be open to the public. In accordance with University health protocols, members of the audience have the option to wear a mask if they choose. 

“’It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play’ is a look at a classic Christmas story through a different lens,” said director Bailey Arruda, a sophomore from Warwick, Rhode Island, pursuing a bachelor of science in video/film production at Husson University’s New England School of Communications. “It will bring the audience back to a time before television, when radio brought stories of romance, adventure and suspense to an eager listening public.”

Co-Director Lilian Mode, a College of Science and Humanities senior from Yarmouth, who is working toward a bachelor of science in elementary education, felt that the production was an exciting a new experience. “Working with the cast and crew for this show has been wonderful. They’re all incredibly hardworking. Every member of the production is giving it their all to make this show is the best it can be. None of this would be possible without all of their hard work.”

Inspired by Frank Capra’s 1947 film, Joe Landry’s “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” will leave audiences appreciating just how precious it is to be alive. The meaning of love, grief and living well, are included in this story’s message. 

Some of the cast members of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” will be making their HUT debut. They include first-year students Avery Farrington of Millinocket; Eden Leighton of Gardiner; Emily Parent of Saint Albans, Vermont; Jaden Boutin of Lubec; Owen Kirkpatrick of Augusta; and Tucker Whelan of South Berwick.

Sophomores making their HUT debut include Collin Peterson of Islesboro; Jessica Sapozhnik of Salem, Massachusetts; and Quinn Mongeon of North Adams, Massachusetts Junior Fay Carrigg of Brewer is also making her HUT debut.

Returning HUT performers include sophomores Bailey Arruda of Warwick, Rhode Island; Caroline Beckwith of Hampden; Nex Staples of Gardiner; and Rin Minoty of Gardiner. Junior Hannah Boddy of Washburn rounds out the list of returning student performers. 

Production team members include Set Designer Lillian Mode; Board Operator Aidan O’Farrell, a first-year student from Norwich, Connecticut; and Costume Designer Emily Akers, a sophomore from Lumberton, North Carolina.

Other production team members include Stage Manager and Clothing Designer Wegahta Berhane, a sophomore from Derry, New Hampshire.; Sound Designer Olivia Fish, a junior from Hermon; and Props and Lighting Designer Erin Cahoon, a senior from Wrentham, Massachusetts.

Performances of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” are Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. All performances will be in The Gracie’s Black Box Theatre. The Black Box Theatre is located on the second floor of The Gracie. 

General admission tickets are only available at the door one hour before each performance. Seating is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis for this one-act drama. Admission is free for Husson students and $5 for others. 

Husson University Theatre, or HUT, is a student-led theater club open to all Husson students who enjoy live performances. The group produces two shows each year for the campus and greater Bangor community. Husson students are responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations. This includes all of the production roles from acting on stage, to crew roles backstage, and box office management. Plays are selected, directed, and designed entirely by students.

Originally, HUT was called the Husson Circle Players. The student shows began over 40 years ago and were performed, on campus, in Peabody Hall’s Kominsky Auditorium. When The Gracie was built in 2009, the Husson Circle Players moved to the new location and were renamed Husson University Theatre.

Recent Husson University Theatre student productions have included Conor McPherson’s “The Birds,” Jonathan Rand’s “Check, Please,” “Stop Kiss” by Diana Son, John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt,” and “The Guys” by Anne Nelson. Other student productions include John Cariani’s “Almost, Maine,” John Scoullar’s “The Little Prince,” and “The Lion in Winter” by James Goldman.

For more information about the upcoming production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” please visit the Husson University Theatre Facebook page or the Husson University Theatre’s Instagram page.

The Gracie Theatre, in a collaboration between artists, students, and university constituents, is an intimate and inviting performing arts facility that provides hands-on experiential learning and technical support services for the Husson University community through a combination of diverse cultural programming and community engagement. Learn more about the Gracie Theatre and upcoming shows at GracieTheatre.com.

For more than 120 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to an analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.