The curtain abruptly parts, and a winter wonderland emerges with carolers, and skaters. Men and women in long winter coats and mittens are joyously singing holiday carols as snow drifts softly through the sky. Skaters dance on the frozen pond, holding hands and twirling as townspeople walk and chatter of holiday gifts and plans. Cross-country skiers glide across the ice as they imagine a warm house filled with their loved ones during the holidays. The smell of roasted chestnuts, fresh-baked gingerbread cookies, and decadent cups of hot chocolate, piled high with marshmallows and whipped cream, flows in with the frigid air. This is Bedford Falls, otherwise known as the Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School auditorium.
On Friday, December 2, 2011 at 7:30, the RFH Tower Players will perform It’s a Wonderful Life in the school auditorium, assisted by faculty, students, and community members. Set in 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life is a holiday story about a man named George Bailey who is in deep financial trouble. Clarence Odbody, a soon-to-be angel, is assigned to help him and earn his wings. The RFH production of It’s a Wonderful Life is sure to keep the interesting plot and cheer of this holiday favorite.
RFH does not typically perform holiday themed plays. However, aside from her interest in the twisting plot of It’s a Wonderful Life, Mrs. Sweeney, the director of Tower Players, enjoys producing school plays because it allows student to gain success in theater.
“Every time a student learns something; it is their chance to shine,” Mrs. Sweeney stated.
With all the preparation for It’s a Wonderful Life, Mrs. Sweeney hopes all members of the cast get their moment to show their talents.
This student-driven play involves participants in everything from lighting to acting to costumes. Members of the cast work diligently as either part of the ensemble or are casted in minor or major roles. Other students involved either create their own pieces of art for actors and actresses to wear on stage, plan and design the milieu, or execute the lightning.
It’s a Wonderful Life was chosen as the fall production because RFH’s application to produce the play was granted. Also, the play has had a schedule change and will now be performed in December to avoid football conflicts. Hopefully, this change will provide for an increase in attendance.
Finally, Mrs. Sweeney enjoys producing It’s a Wonderful Life because it gives everyone a chance “to see the community spirit both in Bedford Falls and RFH.”
Kristen Pellizzi, a member of the RFH drama club for three years, hopes the audience will enjoy this “well-known Christmas show with a great message,” as well as Pellizzi’s favorite family scenes. She also added that the school’s production is similar to the original, but some scenes have been changed for technical reasons and in response to Mrs. Sweeney’s interpretation.
Pellizzi cannot be happier about starring in It’s a Wonderful Life and being part of the drama club: “It’s one big happy family. It takes each individual contribution in order to make a production work,” Pellizzi confirmed.
Kevin Karol, a senior and member of the RFH drama club for years, is excited for his last fall play at RFH. However, he is also upset to leave this “family” behind.
“They’re the best,” he remarked sadly.
He also said that although he enjoys all scenes, his “favorite are the scenes with Mary Bailey, played by Pellizzi.
“She is a great actress and fun person to work with it,” explained Karol.
Karol, as well as the entire Tower Players group, hopes the students, faculty, and community come to the show and experience the anticipation.
“The lights turn on, and you’re suddenly transported to Bedford Falls.”