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IOWA STAGE THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY”

Updated: Mar 31, 2022

Iowa Stage Theatre Company (ISTC), central Iowa’s home for award-winning theater that inspires, enlightens and entertains, is partnering with Iowa PBS (IPBS) to present viewers at the Stoner Theater and throughout the state with a new production of a holiday classic. It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is a theater adaptation by Joe Landry of the beloved holiday classic film. ISTC will perform this play at the Stoner Theater, and the performance will be taped live for Iowa PBS on Thursday, December 16th at 7:00 pm. The performance will be broadcast on Friday, December 17th at 2:00 pm, and again on Thursday, Christmas Eve, December 24th, at 8:00 pm.


“This production of a holiday classic provides a heartwarming reminder of the value of community in troubled times.” says Artistic Director Matthew McIver. “We were days away performing this at Iowa PBS last year, when two cases of COVID forced the performance to be canceled. We are delighted to


In 2018 ISTC presented Joe Landry’s It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at the Kum & Go Theatre, to glowing audience response. In Landry’s clever and skillful adaptation, five actors play all the roles from George and Mary Bailey to crotchety Mr. Potter to four year old Zuzu. The cast is rounded out with a Foley artist creating live sound effects. ISTC Resident Artist company member Kim Haymes won a special Cloris award for her performance as the foley artist. After the initial run in the Kum & Go theater, ISTC toured the production to the Sondheim Center in Fairfield, Iowa. Audiences there were equally delighted.


For 2021, much of the same cast is returning, rounded out by members of ISTC’s resident artist company.


Freddie Filmore (playing Joseph and others) ......................................Don Rothweiler

Jake Laurents (playing George Bailey)................................................James Serpento

Sally Applewhite (playing Mary Bailey and others).....................................Tiffany Flory

Lana Sherwood (playing Violet Bick and others) .................................Jennifer Hughes

Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood (playing Clarence the Angel and others)....... John Robinson

Bucky the Foley Artist................................................................................Kim Haymes

Directed by John Michael Graham, associate professor at Drake University and national expert in vocal training and teaching, the cast achieves a wide range of voices and accents, and portrays multiple characters per actor. The sets and lights are designed by Jay Jagim who was honored last year with a lifetime achievement Cloris award. Costumes created by Emily Ganfield, who teaches at Coe College and Kirkwood Community College.


Performances will be held at the Stoner Theater of Des Moines Performing Arts--schedule is below. Iowa PBS will broadcast the show at 8:30 PM on Friday, December 17 and again at 9:30PM on December 25, Christmas Day. Also, there will be a watch party online where participants can not only see the show but interact with the cast and production team.


Performance Dates



Thursday, December 16, 2021

7:30 PM

Stoner Theater

Friday, December 17, 2021

7:30 PM

Stoner Theater

Saturday, December 18, 2021

2:00 PM

Stoner Theater

Saturday, December 18, 2021

7:30 PM

Stoner Theater

Sunday, December 19, 2021

2:00 PM

Stoner Theater

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

7:30 PM

Stoner Theater

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

7:30 PM

Stoner Theater

Thursday, December 23, 2021

7:30 PM

Stoner Theater



Broadcast Dates


Friday, December 17, 2021

8:30 PM

Iowa PBS

Saturday, December 25, 2021

9:30 PM

Iowa PBS


Iowa Stage Theatre Company, founded in 2017, is a professional theater company in central Iowa that creates high-quality audience experiences of the greatest stories ever told onstage, from the classics to the cutting edge. Artistic Director Matthew McIver and our Resident Artist Company work to transform Iowa, its citizens, and arts community by producing truthful, relevant, and intimate theatre that inspires, enlightens, and entertains.


For Press Photos, please contact Heidi Mason by email at hmason@iowastage.org. For more information about Iowa Stage Theatre Company, visit us online at iowastage.org.

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