The cast of the December 2017 American Stage production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” takes the stage. This year’s production will run Dec. 18-27 with both live and recorded performances.

ST. PETERSBURG — American Stage will celebrate the holiday season with “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” adapted by Joe Landry. This beloved holiday family classic, premiering Friday, Dec. 18, comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast.

With the help of an ensemble that brings dozens of characters and live sound effects, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers a world in which he’d never been born one fateful Christmas Eve. It is a nostalgic take on a holiday classic.

The production “honors the beloved classic with an engaging and captivating telling that combines the fun of radio drama with the intimacy of live video streaming into the homes of families from all over,” said Stephanie Gularte, American Stage’s chief executive and producing artistic director. “I have produced this play seven times throughout my career and I have never looked forward to it more than I do this year. The opportunity to experience this story about the power of community and family and about treasuring that which matters most in our lives, promises to be a fulfilling and joyful way to conclude the year 2020."

This family-friendly production is intended for ages 10 and older. “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” premieres Dec. 18 and runs select dates through Dec. 27. Performances from Dec. 18-22 will be live, with recorded performances on the remaining dates. Following is a list of scheduled performances:

  • Friday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 19 at 2 and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 20 at 2 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 1 and 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 24 at 1 and 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Dec. 25 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 26 at 2 and 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 27 at 2 and 8 p.m.

The cast features entirely American Stage alumni, including Enoch King as George Bailey. The cast also features Richard Watson, Patrick A. Jackson, Katrina Stevenson, and Davina Reid. Watson also appeared in American Stage’s 2015 production of “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.”

The production is directed by Tiffany Ford, American Stage’s director of education, outreach and improv. In addition to Ford, the creative team includes Rachel Harrison, production coordinator; Jerid Fox, production designer; Jill Castle, costume designer; and John Millsap, foley artist and production assistant.

This season, American Stage has introduced a new membership program that provides all-access all season to streaming productions performed live on their Virtual Stage, including “It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play." Memberships can be purchased individually or by household.

Patrons can learn more about memberships, including the benefits of being a member and the three different types of memberships, at americanstage.org/membership.

Family live performance streams are available for $40, and run Dec. 18-22. Family recorded performance streams are available for $30 for performances beginning on Dec. 23 and running select dates through Dec. 27. Live and recorded streams both include a single stream of “It’s A Wonderful Life” for six hours from the time of the performance, and are good for the entire household.

For more information, call 727-823-7529 or email boxoffice@americanstage.org.

American Stage Theatre operates as a non-profit 501(c)(3) in the heart of St. Petersburg, providing live theatrical productions as a professional regional equity theatre since 1977. As Tampa Bay’s longest-running, most critically-acclaimed professional theatre company, American Stage’s vision is to be a vital arts leader, connecting the community to world-class productions that celebrate the most powerful stories of the moment and the most defining stories from our past.

For information, visit americanstage.org.