Harper College's "It's a Wonderful Life" is a family affair

  • Tim Ferguson, left, husband of Harper College Professor Patty Ferguson, and Mary Jo Willis, retired Harper faculty member, play the angels Clarence and Josephine in Harper's radio play production of "It's a Wonderful Life."

    Tim Ferguson, left, husband of Harper College Professor Patty Ferguson, and Mary Jo Willis, retired Harper faculty member, play the angels Clarence and Josephine in Harper's radio play production of "It's a Wonderful Life." Courtesy of Harper College

 
 
Updated 11/30/2021 9:23 AM

"It's a Wonderful Life" is a testament to the importance of family and support of community. It's only fitting that Harper College's upcoming production of the holiday classic is a family affair.

Harper's Department of Communication Arts is presenting a radio play version of Frank Capra's famous film. Adapted by Joe Landry, this production of "It's a Wonderful Life" will feature Harper "family" (present and past department faculty, students, staff and alumni) as well as actual family members.

 

Looking at the cast list, "you'll notice family names," said Laura Pulio Colbert, Harper professor and director of this production. "We have husbands, wives, friends and children all joining in the fun."

To maintain safety during the ever-shifting COVID-19 pandemic, "It's a Wonderful Life" will be presented virtually. The radio play will stream at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12. Colbert and the department are encouraging families and friends to gather and enjoy George Bailey's story like an old-time radio drama.

Tickets, $15-$25, are available online (at events.harpercollege.edu) and via the Harper Box Office (call 847-925-6100).

"This began as a faculty project," Colbert said. "It's been quite a few years since we have presented a departmental project like this. It's helpful, especially for students, to see faculty in action."

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Cast and crew members rehearsed this fall and recorded the audio play in November. The production was refined and edited in subsequent weeks. Listen to a sample at www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S_fE43chmI

"It's been a wonderful opportunity to work together collaboratively and to be reminded of our individual strengths as we work toward one common goal," Colbert said. "Watching my peers bring these characters to life and seeing their creativity and willingness to play together is pure joy!"

Auditions for "Sense and Sensibility"

The department is hosting auditions for its next theatrical production, the musical version of Jane Austen's novel, scheduled for March 2022. Auditions for "Sense and Sensibility" will take place 7-10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 6-7 by appointment. Singers/actors of all ethnicities should contact director Kevin Long at klong@harpercollege.edu to schedule an audition or for information.

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