(BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ) --New Jersey’s largest non-profit community performing arts education organization continues its 2022-23 season with a family-friendly production of It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play in the intimate Wharton Black Box Theater in Berkeley Heights. Audiences are welcomed to eight shows during the holiday season from December 9-18 in what is sure to be an uplifting event for the entire family. John A.C. Kennedy directs Joe Landry’s “outstanding” and “inspiring” (KPBS San Diego) live radio play adaptation of Frank Capra’s film It’s a Wonderful Life.
The beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast with the help of an ensemble cast. Five Wharton Community Players actors perform the voices of dozens of characters to portray the story of idealistic George Bailey as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve. As in the movie, George must learn that “no man is a failure who has friends” when he must face off against local robber baron and curmudgeon Henry F. Potter. It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is “a surefire reminder of what this season is all about” (Edge Magazine).
Said Kennedy, “Like live theater, live radio was an exciting genre where anything could happen. This staged radio production of It’s a Wonderful Life delivers the dynamic, uplifting message of the classic American Christmas story along with a few surprises, thanks to the relationships between our quirky radio personalities. And isn’t any live performance a little more exciting when something unexpected happens and performers must adapt on the fly?”
Opening night is on Friday, December 9. Ticket holders for the evening performance on Saturday, December 17 will be treated to a complimentary pre-show reception in the Wharton Arts lobby. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors and students. Tickets are available for purchase online.
Wharton Arts’ mission is to offer accessible, high quality performing arts education that sparks personal growth and builds inclusive communities. Wharton Arts’ vision is for a transformative performing arts education in an inclusive community to be accessible for everyone.
Wharton Arts is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving nearly 2,000 students through a range of classes and ensembles. The 5 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Chorus, an auditioned choral ensemble program for students in grades 3–12, encourage a love and appreciation of choral music while nurturing personal growth and creative development. The 15 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which serve over 500 students in grades 3–12 by audition, inspire young people to achieve musical excellence through high-level ensemble training and performance opportunities. Based in Paterson, the Paterson Music Project is an El Sistema-inspired program of Wharton Arts that uses music education as a vehicle for social action by empowering and inspiring young people to achieve their full potential through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing. From Pathways classes for young children to Lifelong Learning programs for adults, the Wharton Performing Arts School has a robust musical theater and drama program and offers both private and group classes for instruments and voice for all ages and all abilities. With the belief in the positive and unifying influence of music and that performing arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay, Wharton Arts offers need-based scholarships.
Wharton Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence, and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 12 counties. All of Wharton Arts’ extraordinary teaching artists, faculty members, and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.