It’s a Wonderful Life Critique

Mark Anthony Howard

Professor Gourley

Intro to Theatre


It’s a Wonderful Life Critique

It’s a wonderful life was is a Christmas playwright by Wayne Scott based on the movie “It’s a wonderful life” The Play was held at Life house Theatre in Redlands California. This was a very good play to me. My experience at the of this theatre play was definitely a positive one. In contrast to my first play experience this was definitely a step down in budget but not in quality of acting and cast enthusiasm.  I was able to appreciate the contrast between a professional play with highly attributed actors and an amateur play with very enthusiastic, aspiring young actors. I believe that by attending a previous play and actually studying theatre enabled me to appreciate the quality of this production. I also watched the actual movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” that the play was based upon. Watching the movie in succession to attending the play really help me to fully appreciate the effort that entire cast brought to the play. The contrast between the movie and play was dead on. The script was pretty much exact and the acting was just as good as the cast in the original movie.

The play was also different from the first play I attended by the size of the cast. The cast of “What My husband Doesn’t Know” consist of about 10 characters. The Cast of It’s a Wonderful Life consist of about 45 characters! In this play there were scenes where 15-20 characters on stage at the same time. In this play some actors even played multiple roles. Some of the supporting characters were also extras in scenes that required background bodies.  Such as the Town scenes and bar scenes.  George was the man character of the play( played by Jonathan Bushey). Bushey did a great job.  George was my favorite character in the play. I was able to identify with his disappointment and delight in his triumph. I really enjoyed his sense of humor and his stern defiance of The towns Tyrant Mr. Potter. Mr. Potter was my second favorite character, played by Steve Sloan. These too characters made up for the best acting in the play. The Hero and the antagonist roles were highly effective and I believe truly set the tone for play. The play was truly dependent on the level of performance by these two characters and they did an excellent job.

The acting in this play was great. Chapter 3 in our books reading talks about the background and expectation of the audience.  I think It is definitely of some responsibility to the audience to enable the cast to reach them.  I would have not been able to appreciate fully how great and effort the actors did had I not watched the actual movie afterward.  I definitely believe that in theatre there is a relationship between the stage the audience. The actors on stage are reaching out to audience with their dialogue and acting skill. I believe that the audience has some responsibility to reach back. The actors do a lot of studying, practicing, and investing the roles that they play. I found that it was very enjoyable to also do some homework on the play before or after . By watching the movie I was really able to appreciate how closely the actors portrayed their character roles. From what I seen The characters in the play were every bit as good as the characters in the movie. The actors did a great job. The acting was almost dead on. You could instantly tell how much practice and dedication that these amateur actors put into this production.  Its was absolutely perfect in contrast to the movie.  One thing that I did not as a side was the plays script was mild down a bit because it was a Christian theatre. The Nasty characters weren’t so nasty and the sexy characters weren’t so sexy. Even the Bar was change to restaurant to soften up the play.

The theme of the play was good one. I enjoyed it. I thought theme that the play was trying to convey is the people are always your best investment and your greatest treasure. The main character George was a mortgage and loan executive, initially unwillingly, but found it was great service to people and he was natural at. He was a very unselfish man. And at the end of the play it all tied in where all the people he had helped over the years came together to help me by showing the same unselfish love and understand that he had always so natural shown.  It was a great play because of this theme. The good will of people is always a heart-warming and pleasant phenomenon to witness.  It is ironic that at the plays end George’s younger brother Harry calls George “the richest man in Bedford falls.” When Harry says this he says this in mention of the love that he has in the town.  George Loved everybody, even before  consideration of himself, and in return everybody loved George.   “Love  in return for love is a great theme and message to convey.

The costumes were the only thing that was kind of slouch in my opinion. I understand that these plays are budgeted lower than a professional play or movie would. But I took a little bit from the characters. One character in particular was Violet Bick the promiscuous town glam girl. The problem was that she wasn’t so glam in the play. In the movie she was gorgeous and she worn a new piece in every scene she was in. In the play Violet dressed a very mediocre violet dress and wore it the whole play in every scene.  This was the only flaw I found with the play. The lighting was great. I was able to note after reading chapter 16 the difference in stage lighting and the usage of different lighting in different scenes. Overhead I was able to note the lighting types. The different spotlights, the borderlights, the floodlights, as well as the movement, and distribution of these lights.  The theatre setting was a proscenium stage setting and I sat a couple rows directly in front the control booth.  I would like to learn more about the exacts of the control booth. This is where all the lighting and audio was manipulated from.

Overall I thought this was a very good production. The time and effort that was put into to the script, acting, direction, and staging was very evident in the production. I would recommend this play and this theatre to anyone looking to enjoy theatre. It’s a Wonderful Life!!


About The Gritz

Ideally I aspire to be a Tyranny of Business and perspective. I cant tell you descriptively how I feel... so I'll tell you the depths of my thought. thanks for reading.

Posted on 12/18/2011, in College Writings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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