its a wonderful life play poster
Photo by MU

Manchester Students Act in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ at Firehouse

Karsen Silvernail

A Manchester grad returned to direct the annual play, which takes place in a radio station. Angelina Funk graduated from Manchester University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Vocal Music, as well as Theory and Composition. Funk was heavily involved in the theatre and music opportunities.

This year's play was moved later in the semester than usual, and “It’s a Wonderful Life” was selected for a holiday show. The play was held in downtown North Manchester, at the Firehouse. There is limited spacing for the venue, so Funk wanted to do something that one set instead of changing. “A radio play is perfect for that, as it all takes place in a radio station,” she said. “We see a lot of communities do ‘A Christmas Carol’ show, so I wanted to bring ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ to the stage, to start off this holiday season. Not to mention it is a heartwarming tale.”

The play calls for six actors but four presented the show: Danial Barbre, Mikaya Aurbach, Adelle Stanko and Andy Vance. Vance did all the sound effects live on stage, while the other actors played multiple characters. Braxton Stewart helped with stage managing and sound.

The radio play tells the story of George Baily as he considers ending his life one Christmas Eve. Although the play is set during the holidays, it has an overall message for the viewers and listeners of the play. “Just like the original context of the movie, it’s a thoughtful production that helps people see their worth, even when they don’t feel they contribute anything,” Funk said. “This time of the year, stress can be high, and this show helps lighten that feeling, along with reinforce the value each person has to offer.”