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Thursday, December 17, 2020


Photo by John Eaton
George Bailey (Gordie Dunlap) smiles at his six-year-old daughter Zuzu (Emme Reifer), who delivers one of the show's most memorable lines: “Look, Daddy. Teacher says every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.” Emme is a Don Gill Elementary School third grader.

The pressure was on last week for the cast of "It's A Wonderful Life" with the replacement of a cast member self-quarantining because of COVID-19 and the taping of the performance by Videographer Adam Murtland who used multiple cameras to capture close-ups and many other shots of the actors.

The resulting film will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 18 and 19 and at 2:30 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 20 so it can be seen and heard by people in their own homes. 

"All of us are greatly relieved that we were able to pull this off during this difficult and uncertain time," said Director Thomas Putnam. "Adam, the videographer, led us through the process and is very happy with the results. On Monday, Dec. 14, he was editing it and ready to start adding the opening credits."

The play is about George Bailey, a man who has so many problems, he is thinking about ending it all even though it's Christmas. Instead he rescues Clarence who through flashbacks shows George what his town would have looked like if it hadn't been for all of his good deeds over the years. It is based on the Frank Capra Christmas fantasy drama film released on Jan. 7, 1947 and adapted into a radio play by Philip Grecian. 

In the cast are four who performed in Hamilton-Gibson's 2011 radio play version of "It's A Wonderful Life." They are: Gordie Dunlap of Wellsboro as George Bailey, Karin Knaus of Westfield as George's wife, Mary Hatch Bailey and Eugene Seelye of Wellsboro as Clarence Oddbody. Last week, Kate Sholonski of Wellsboro, also in the 2011 production, took on the roles of Violet, Tilly and other characters for the cast member whose COVID-19 test came back negative on Monday, Dec. 14. 

"I'm playing Clarence, George Bailey's guardian angel again this year, and if there ever was a need for all of us to have a guardian angel, with all that is going on in the world, it is now," Seelye said. 
Photo by John Eaton
River Moyer of Whitneyville plays young George Bailey.

River Moyer of Whitneyville plays young George Bailey and Hortense. Asked why he decided to audition, this eighth grader at the Rock L. Butler Middle School said, "I have enjoyed doing HG Winter Camp musicals during the last four years with Mr. Putnam. I loved those experiences and learned so much from him and the other students. This past August I was in a Tune In To HG Radio show. Since I enjoy doing plays, I thought I'd just try out and see what happened. Although I have not seen the movie yet, I think 'It's A Wonderful Life'  is a pretty cool story based on reading the script. I am happy to be able to continue acting."

Others in the cast are: Emme Reifer of Wellsboro as Zuzu Bailey; Nicholas J. Duffy of Mansfield as banker Henry F. Potter, George's younger brother Harry Bailey and Nick the bartender; and Timothy Wilbourn of Wellsboro as Joseph the Angel, Uncle Billy and Mr. Bailey, George's father. 

Those who purchase a ticket at get a link to stream the specific performance he or she has chosen to an iPad, Smart phone, computer or other device. “Those who buy a ticket for Friday will not be able to change their minds and use it to see the Saturday or Sunday performance instead,” said Hamilton-Gibson’s Operations Coordinator Bev Dochstader. “One ticket is only good for one device. If people in the same household want to watch the show on two different devices, they need two tickets."

For more information, call the HG office at 570-724-2079 or email

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

The link provided does not work, could one be provide that does work?