Hoboken’s Mile Square Theatre continues to produce virtual theater with its final production of 2020.
The professional theater company has been offering plays online through streaming services since the pandemic closed the black box theater to live, in-person performances, including several small plays written specifically for the zoom format.
Now, to help ring in the holiday season, MST will offer the holiday favorite It’s a Wonderful Life: a live radio play, albeit virtually for the first time this year.
“This will be the fifth time MST has produced Joe Landry’s clever adaptation of the classic film, and of course, there’s a bit of a twist with this year’s production,” said MST’s Artistic Director Chris O’Connor. “With the theatre closed due to COVID, we’ve had to redefine and reimagine what we do.”
According to O’Connor, the play will become a movie with actors filmed individually due to COVID-19 and then edited together.
“We are essentially turning the play into a movie, and MST’s space will function as a sound stage,” O’Connor said. “We are adhering to strict health protocols, so the actors will be filmed one at a time, then the work will be composited in the editing room.”
The work will be shot and edited by Hoboken-based company Branding Shorts.
The play brings the audience into a 1940s radio studio to witness a live reading of the classic film’s screenplay.
Joe Landry’s adaptation invites the audience to experience the story as ‘theatre of the mind,’ as they watch versatile actors play multiple roles, enhanced by sound effects performed by a foley artist.
The production includes the return of John Keller of MST’s Dracula and the Twelfth Night, who will reprise the role of George Bailey.
Also in the cast this are Blaire Brooks of MST’s Rikki Tikki Tavi, Danny Johnson of Netflix’s series Daredevil, Nandita Shenoy of Washer/Dryer at Ma-Yi Theater, and Gabriel Hernandez of Bottle of Doom at Two River Theater.
Kevin R. Free of MST’s Pipeline directs with costumes by Natalie Loveland, sound by Matt Bittner of School of Rock on Broadway, and art direction by Jen Price Fick.
On sale now
Streaming begins Nov. 26 with tickets available through Dec. 27.
Tickets are $25 and are available at https://www.milesquaretheatre.org/shows-events/its-a-wonderful-life/.
Once purchased, audience members will be emailed a link through which the stream may be accessed; the link will remain valid until it is used. After that, the viewer has 48 hours to finish or re-watch the performance before it disappears.
The play is recommended for all ages by MST and is estimated to run for about an hour and 30 minutes.
For more information on Mile Square Theatre, visit www.milesquaretheatre.org.
Mile Square Theatre is supported by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and is a member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance.
Season Sponsors include Advance Realty, Aecom/Tishman, Bijou Properties, Haven Savings Bank, Jet.com, Kearny Bank, and The Rockefeller Group.
This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise and the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders.