Lewis Lane Players share take on Christmas classic 'It's a Wonderful Life'

The Lewis Lane Players are bringing a Christmas classic, "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play," to Havre de Grace for the fourth consecutive year.

This year, they’ll be performing for the first time in the Cultural Center at the Havre de Grace Opera House, 121 N. Union Ave.

Shows are Friday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children and seniors and are available for purchase at hdgoperahouse.org.

“Not only is the newly renovated Opera House a truly beautiful facility, but it affords us the opportunity to more than double our seating capacity and put on three performances of the show whereas with our previous venue we were limited to one,” Ken Coughlan, president of the Havre de Grace Drama Guild, said. “The seating is comfortable and roomy (unlike many theaters) and there isn't a bad seat in the house. Overall, it just makes for a wonderful experience for both the performer and the patron.”

Guests may know the story of George Bailey, Bedford Falls and Angel Second Class Clarence Oddbody, but they've likely never seen it told like the Lewis Lane Players will for this production, Coughlan said.

This unique production is put on in the style of a 1940s radio drama. Before the era of television, stories were told over the radio. Actors would play multiple parts, creating new voices for each.

Foley artists came up with inspiring ways to generate sound effects that stimulated the imagination within the confines of the studio, he said.

“And on Dec. 8 and 9, you can be transported back in time and sit in as a guest in the studio of radio station WBFR New York, right here is the grand old U.S. of A, and watch as the performers bring this beautiful tale to life,” Coughlan, who is directing this year’s production, said.

Coughlan, who has directed Blithe Spirit and Doubt,” is returning to his role as host Freddie Fillmore. Other performers include returning cast members Mary Kay Coughlan (Steel Magnolias, Lost in Yonkers, Doubt and Blithe Spirit) as Mary Hatch, Ron Allen (Bull in a China Shop and Trifles) as Clarence/Potter, and Sarah Coughlan (Spoon River Anthology, Cinderella and Annie) as little Zuzu.

Joining the production this year as George Bailey is Wakefield Mahon. The cast is rounded out by Allison Taylor, Devon Baker and James Coughlan.

“This is a theatrical experience unlike any other, and makes for a great holiday tradition for the whole family,” Coughlan said.

The Lewis Lane Players is the adult/teen performance troupe (ages 13 and older) of the Havre de Grace Drama Guild.

The Players began as a traveling troupe, giving performances throughout Harford County, including dinner theater at Silk's Restaurant in Bulle Rock and aboard the Lantern Queen River Boat. From 2011 through this year, its home theater was "Theater 351" inside the multipurpose room of the Havre de Grace Activity Center.

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