Corbett Children's Theater presents twist on beloved classic

It’s almost certain if you own a TV set you have stumbled upon, if not intently watched, a broadcast of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” the classic 1946 movie starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, whose attempt at suicide is thwarted by Clarence, his guardian angel.

Radio veteran and sound effects wizard Anthony Palermo took the movie script and adapted it, creating “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play,” which Corbett Children’s Theater is staging this holiday season.

William Vincent, 17, a Corbett High School senior who plays the beleaguered Bailey, says the “radio” version is a bit challenging to act.

“We’re kind of tethered to the microphone and can’t do as many actions,” he says. “It definitely makes character development a more interesting challenge because you have to put it all into your stance and your voice and you can’t rely on movement as much.”

Corbett Children’s Theater debuted its production last weekend, and will present it again at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18; 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20. Shows take place at Springdale CAPS School, 25000 E. Historic Columbia River Highway, Corbett.

Tickets are $12, $9 for students and seniors. Learn more at

Vincent says folks familiar with the movie will find the Corbett version equally charming.

“This show is kind of like a play within a play,” he says, noting it’s set in a radio station. “You can see all the people, the rest of actors, reacting to scenes. I think it’s a really interesting point of view to use in a play.”

He adds that “It’s a Wonderful Life” contains lessons that ring as true today as they did when first presented in 1946.

“It definitely teaches you not to take things for granted and also to look at the fact that even the smallest things make life wonderful.”

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