It's a Wonderful Life
Welcome the Norfolk Academy Players' production of It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play for your listening pleasure.
The Norfolk Academy Players may not be performing in front of you on stage in our beautiful Johnson Theater, but it is my sincere hope that you will enjoy this radio play just as much as you have enjoyed witnessing our previous performances. We’re all grateful that, despite the pandemic, we can showcase the many talents of our students and the incredible facilities at our fingertips and create this heartfelt production for everyone to experience. Storytelling, along with the art of listening, is at the heart of theatre and is vital to our imagination. Through many months of rehearsals and recordings, the students embraced the challenges, and opportunities, of this radio play genre. Actors focused on their greatest acting challenge – relying on only their voices to convey their characters’ emotional journey – while our technical crews honed new skills in sound recording, editing, and sound effects.
It’s A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play was chosen for many reasons — first and foremost, the resounding themes that are explored by our protagonist. George is overwhelmed by life’s trials and yet faces despair and uncertainty with the support of family and friends, a sentiment we can all recognize as we reflect on these truly unusual times. Themes of hope, faith, strength, support of community, and courage — which is Norfolk Academy’s theme for this school year — are woven into the play. It reminds us of the courage to believe that who we are is enough, and that we have each made an impact on the lives of those around us.
Every person in this production is important. And just as the town of Bedford Falls came to George’s aid, none of this would be possible without the commitment of our NA community. Faculty members contributed their vocal talents, and our students were tutored by a professional and hardworking production team. I’m grateful to have had them all alongside me throughout this venture.
Working alongside Ron Newman for 15 years has especially made an impact on my life. I watched as he sculpted NA’s arts programs as our Fine Arts Director, and after stepping down he continued to teach our students through participation in our mainstage productions. He’s my mentor, my friend, and I was humbled to fill his legendary directing shoes. This show marks Ron’s final Norfolk Academy production, and while I will dearly miss our working comradery and his booming laughter, after 33 years he can fully retire knowing that his impact will remain in our theatre and in our hearts.
The arts are integral to the human experience. Theater, in all its forms, can connect and inspire audiences, enriching our lives. The theater reminds us that this IS a wonderful life, so we invite you to listen and enjoy.