Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2012, 9:19 am

Holiday film classic finds wonderful new life

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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com

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A radio play version of "It's a Wonderful Life" will be performed at Potter Theatre at Augustana College this weekend.

WQPT-TV, the Quad-Cities public-television station, and WVIK-FM, Augustana Public Radio, are teaming up to present "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" by Joe Landry. The theatrical production, based on the classic film and set in a radio station in 1946, will be presented at Potter Theatre on the campus of Augustana College, Rock Island, at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Eight actors will bring more than 50 characters to life, and the show will be taped for broadcast on both stations during the holiday season in December.Tickets are $20 each and available at Augustana.edu/tickets or (309) 794-7306.

The cast includes Mike Millar as George Bailey, Jenny Winn as Mary, Erin Lounsberry as Violet and others, Jason Platt as Potter and others, Michael Carron as Clarence and others, Tamra McConoughey as Sadie and others, Scott Tunnicliff as the Announcer and others, and Tom Vaccaro as Harry and the foley artist (sound effects). Jonathan Turner will provide piano accompaniment.

"We have wanted to expand our partnership with WVIK, which airs our public-affairs program 'The Cities With Jim Mertens,' and to create more local programming for both of our stations," said the radio play director Lora Adams, who also is WQPT's director of marketing and local content.

"With my theater background, it just seemed like a great idea to work with our public radio station to do a play that is set in a radio station in 1946," she said. "And the fact that we are performing in Potter Theatre at Augustana just seemed like a perfect venue considering this is 'It's a Wonderful Life.' Ticket sales will be split between both stations and WQPT will use our share to produce more local arts programming."

Potter Theatre is on the second floor of Bergendoff Hall, 3701 7th Ave., Rock Island. For more information, visit wqpt.org.