HOLIDAY CLASSIC “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” TO TAKE MERRIMACK REPERTORY THEATRE STAGE AS A LIVE RADIO PLAY
Cast and creative team entirely comprised of Lowell and Boston artists
November 25 – December 20
Lowell, MA – Following its hit productions of “The Lion,” and “I and You,” Merrimack Repertory Theatre prepares to mount “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.” The charming adaptation by Joe Landry presents the story of the classic film as a 1940’s radio drama. George Bailey’s timeless tale of renewal comes to life with five actors gathered around microphones to voice more than 40 characters and create sound effects live onstage, with live “studio” audience response an integral part of the broadcast.
The 90-minute play will run from November 25 – December 20 with performances Wednesdays through Sundays (with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, which has no performance). Press performances are on Saturday, November 28 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, November 29 at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm. All performances will be held at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, located at 50 East Merrimack Street in historic downtown Lowell. Tickets range from $60 – $23 and are on sale now at www.mrt.org or by calling 978-654-4678.
“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” has become a beloved presence in the American Theatre, with over a thousand productions across the nation since 2007. MRT’s production, directed by esteemed Boston director Megan Sandberg-Zakian, promises to be an endearing and heartwarming way to welcome the holidays to Lowell, and will embody the top-quality acting and production values MRT audiences have come to expect.
The show marks MRT’s first holiday-themed production since 2011. “I think it’s one of the most charming holiday shows out there,” notes MRT artistic director Sean Daniels. “It’s a real opportunity for this to be a community center, so that when it comes time for the holidays, people bring their families, they bring their friends, and they get to come celebrate.” “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is family-friendly and audiences of all ages will find the heart and humor of the story irresistible.
The cast of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” features Boston-based actors Nael Nacer and Celeste Oliva voicing the roles of George Bailey and Mary Hatch. They’re joined by Joel Colodner, Veronika Duerr, and Jason Bowen, who voice all of the stories other characters.
Director Megan Sandberg Zakian is a recipient of the prestigious 2015 Princess Grace Award, which is dedicated to identifying and assisting emerging talent in the performing arts. The award allows her to serve as MRT’s Director in Residence during the 2015-16 Season. She is joined by a talented design team comprised largely of MRT staff: scenic designer Amanda Williams, costume designer A. Lee Viliesis, and lighting designer Carter Miller. Sound designer Jonathan Mastro, who is also composing original music for the production, rounds out the team.
Tickets range from $60 – $23 and are available at www.mrt.org or by calling 978-654-4678. A Senior discount is offered for 10% off adult ticket prices. Student tickets are $15. Group discounts are available for groups of six or more by calling 978-654-7561. $5 Night: Wednesday, November 25, at 7:30 pm. Patrons may purchase tickets for $5, cash only, at the Box Office between 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Limit 2 tickets per person. Lowell Night: Wednesday, December 2, at 7:30 pm. Lowell residents may purchase tickets for $10 at the box office from 4:30 pm-7:30 pm. Proper ID required, limit 2 per person. MRT is hosting a Military Night on Sunday December 6 at 7:00 pm, with 50% off tickets to all active duty, retired, veteran, and reservist members of the military, as well as military families. In addition, MRT offers its regular Military Discount of $10 off per ticket (up to four tickets) to all other performances.
For the first time Holiday Parties are offered for groups of friends, family, or coworkers to see the show and turn it into a memorable night of food, drink, and good times. Groups of six or more receive a 25% discount. MRT will also help coordinate a pre or post-show gathering in the lobby, in the rehearsal hall, or at a local restaurant, and make sure the ticket-buying process is simple and seamless. More information is available at www.mrt.org/parties.
On Wine Down Sunday, the audience will be invited to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine in the lobby following the first Sunday evening performance (November 29) with the cast and crew, as well as with the Western Avenue Studios Artists Association members whose work is currently on exhibit in the lobby. Each Thursday, Ask the Artists will provide an opportunity for the audience to hear directly from the people who created the show in a post-show discussion.
“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is supported by Production Sponsor Farley White Investments and received additional support from Media Sponsor WCAP. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre company since 1979, and is an integral part of Lowell’s identity as the cultural heart of the region. The company is known for its high production standards and for creating compelling new plays and regional premieres that reflect the lives and emotions of its audiences. MRT is one of just three theatres in Massachusetts that is a member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), which has 72 members nationwide.
MRT 2015-16 SEASON
“The Lion”, written and performed by Benjamin Scheuer
August 26 – September 20, 2015
“I and You” by Lauren Gunderson
October 7 – November 1, 2015
“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” adapted by Joe Landry
November 25 – December 20, 2015
“The White Chip” by Sean Daniels
January 6 – 31, 2015
“Tinker to Evers to Chance by Mat Smart
February 10 – March 6, 2016
“The Realness: a break beat play” by Idris Goodwin
March 16 – April 10, 2016
“Home of the Brave” by Lila Rose Kaplan
April 20 – May 15, 2016
Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre
(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Box Office: 978-654-4678