Wayland senior directing Civic Theatre holiday production

April Langehennig, a senior theatre major at Wayland Baptist University, will direct the Plainview Civic Theatre's presentation of a holiday favorite Dec. 6-8.

The production is the original Lux Radio Show presentation of It's a Wonderful Life and will be performed in the Harral Studio Theatre on the Wayland campus at 8 p.m. each night.

According to PCT president Tisa Whitfill, the production is a deviation from the group's normal straight play format. But the radio play fit perfectly for the season.

"We were planning to do this next year, and I saw it on PBS one night," Whitfill said. "It's a great piece that I knew we could put together quickly, especially with everyone's busy schedules."

Finding no scripts available for the show, Whitfill and Langehennig ended up transcribing the PBS production to create scripts for the cast. With simple set and no costumes, the play relies heavily on vocal talent and a little imagination from the audience.

"You almost want to close your eyes and just listen. I think the audiences will enjoy it!" Whitfill said.

Whitfill and Jill Craig will be providing full Foley sound effects from the stage, much like the actual radio productions were performed in decades past. A set of stage stairs provides a climbing effect, while a miniature door slams shut for effect. Whitfill said she'll also be providing some background music on her keyboard.

The cast blends Wayland students with community members and has some members bending themselves into several roles. Plainviewan James Ridener plays George Bailey, while Wayland senior Mary Loudat of Albuquerque, NM, plays his wife Mary. Gene Whitfill of Plainview plays Clarence the Angel. Completing the cast in various roles are Langehennig, Kayla Craig, David Howle, Bailey Miller, Michael Ridener, Lori Stanley, Chris Stegall and Brett Wesley.

Tickets for It's a Wonderful Life are $8 for adults and $5 for students college-age and under. Reservations are encouraged by calling the Wayland box office at 291-1089