With Christmas right around the corner, the holiday cheer has already started making its rounds throughout communities large and small. Immediate Theatre Project will be bringing their adaptation of “It’s A Wonderful Life” to Germantown on Sunday, December 9 to help satisfy the annual craving for nostalgic holiday films.
The Frank Capra film “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a classic Christmas tale that has been readapted countless times since its release in 1946. Though it may convey a similar plot, Immediate Theatre Project’s approach to the story is far from derivative.
“It seemed to me that there was an opportunity to tell a bigger story,” said Willie Repoley, the company’s Producing Artistic Director. “In our telling, there are only four actors because the rest of the cast has been stranded by a winter storm, and the stakes are raised for everyone because if these four actors can’t present the entire show, the station will probably be forced to close. So suddenly you have two parallel stories of a community working together to pull off something impossible.”
One could see how attempting to put on a full-length production with a four-person cast could present unrehearsed obstacles; but Immediate Theatre Project refuses to shy away from the challenge. In fact, they find a new cast for this production every year.
“Over the years, we’ve figured out a lot of clever ways to get everything done — and every year it seems we still discover new challenges and new solutions!” he said. “In our concept, only one of the four usually do the live sound effects, and he is suddenly cast as George Bailey. This means that the other three have the bulk of the foley [ed. sound effects] work, but of course they have never done it before! Our biggest challenge is crafting the show in such a way that we see the actors learning how to do the effects on the fly, constantly in danger of messing something up, and yet always pulling through just in time.”
With various sound effects coming from everyday objects, many of these challenges prove to be no match for the inherent creativity of the North Carolina-based company.
“One year a cast member came in to rehearsal and said, ‘Listen to this! I accidentally figured this out this morning!’ She had bought in an eggbeater and a ceramic bowl and then ran the eggbeater along the side of it, and the bowl rang. And that’s been our telephone ever since!”
Immediate Theatre Project will be presenting their adaptation of “It’s a Wonderful Life” at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown at 6 p.m. on Sunday, December 9. Adult tickets range from $25-$45. For more information or to buy tickets visit http://blackrockcenter.org or call the box office at 240-912-1058.