SBCC theatre students showcase talent in “It’s a Wonderful Life, a Live Radio Play”


The Theatre Group at Santa Barbara City College debuted its first student production of the season, “It’s A Wonderful Life, A Live Radio Play,” Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Jurkowitz Theatre.

The popular theatre adaptation by Joe Landry is a take on classic holiday film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” reminds the audience just how valuable and wonderful life truly is.

The play is staged as a live radio broadcast set in Bedford, New York. It portrays a kind-hearted man named George Bailey, played by student Gabriel Uribe-Eccles, who is about to end his life on Christmas Eve when an angel appears and shows him what life would have been like if he was never born.

The play gives the audience a sense of feeling that they are actually on a live radio broadcast. There are sponsored commercials in which the actors act out in song and dance for brief moments and an applause sign that lights up to cue the audience to clap.

There is also actor-audience interaction. When the actors first take the stage, they talk to the audience as if they are speaking on a radio broadcast, and one character even gives her signature to an audience member.

The actors, who play multiple characters, skillfully switch their roles throughout the play, showcasing their talent.

A highlight of the play is the retro 40’s style costumes, designed by Pamela Shaw, a theatre arts associate professor.

Performances will take place Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. There will also be a matinee performance on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. as well. The 2 p.m. matinee show on Sunday, Nov. 12, will be live-captioned for the hearing-impaired.

Tickets are $18 for the general public, $15 for seniors and $10 for students.

Tickets can be purchased through the Theatre Group’s website, or at the Box Office, which is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.