Dan DePrez, Ingrid Nixon and Keith Curtis, from left, open the beginning of Olympic Theatre Arts’ performance of “It’s a Wonderful Life” during a recent rehearsal. The trio, and several others, appear in the live radio play that features an organist, sound effects and more in a New York radio studio. It runs Dec. 8-11. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Dan DePrez, Ingrid Nixon and Keith Curtis, from left, open the beginning of Olympic Theatre Arts’ performance of “It’s a Wonderful Life” during a recent rehearsal. The trio, and several others, appear in the live radio play that features an organist, sound effects and more in a New York radio studio. It runs Dec. 8-11. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Live from Sequim, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’; radio show presented one weekend only

By Matthew Nash

Olympic Peninsula News Group

SEQUIM — One of the most beloved Christmas stories is on Olympic Theatre Arts’ stage through this weekend.

Teachers, singers, students, artists, real estate agents and others will bring the voices and sounds to life for “It’s a Wonderful Life” as a live radio play for shows through Sunday.

Shows are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are $12 at olympictheatrearts.org/OTA or at the door, 414 N. Sequim Ave.

Director Olivia Shea said this version is similar to the popular Jimmy Stewart movie classic except the audience becomes viewers of a New York radio station on Christmas Eve 1946.

Inside, live actors deliver the lines for “It’s a Wonderful Life” along with organ music from LeRoy Davidson, sound effects from Sean Clark and Karen Pritchard, and commercial breaks by the Jingle Bells — Cheryl Di Pietro, Pritchard and Penny Pemberton.

Shea said the plan was to do a simpler Second Stage production with only a handful of people on stage but interest was really high.

“So many people tried out, I said, ‘Let’s get as many people as we can in it,’ ” she said. “I knew they’d really like it.”

The play features everyone you’d expect such as George Bailey, played by Keith Curtis; Mary Bailey (Peggy Campos-Roman); and Clarence (Dave McInnes).

Also taking the sound stage are veterans and newcomers including Jayna Orchard, Ingrid Nixon, Sally and Kent Welborn, Sean Clark, Matthew Rainwater, Peggy Campos-Roman and Dan DePrez.

Taylor Sebring works double duty both backstage as stage manager and on stage as well in the same role. Jennifer Horton also serves as production manager.

Shea said the production brings the audience in as part of the show, with applause signs lighting up, too.

In between scenes are commercials Shea wrote for the Jingle Bells to sing to help create the aura of a real radio drama.

Shows are expected to sell out because “It’s a Wonderful Life” runs only one week so as to leave performance time the following week for Sequim Ballet’s performances of “The Nutcracker.”

Audiences are encouraged to buy tickets in advance.

For more information, contact Olympic Theatre Arts at on its website or call 360-683-7326.

________

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequim gazette.com.

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