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Merry Christmas George Bailey Presented by CenterStage Clovis

IN THE November 17 ISSUE

FROM THE 2021 Articles,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
andTheatre
SECTIONS

by Lorie Lewis Ham

CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre is back on stage on November 27 with a Christmas show, Merry Christmas George Bailey, which is a radio show of It’s A Wonderful Life. We chatted with their board president and artistic director, Darren Tharp, about the show.

KRL: What is this show about?

Darren: This Christmas-themed special features a live recreation of the 1947 Lux Radio production of It’s A Wonderful Life, best known for its beloved 1946 film adaptation.

KRL: Is it a straight play or a musical?

Darren: It is a straight play, but with a twist! Since it is a play of a radio show, many characters are based solely on the voice of the actor. It gives the show a lot of depth in a unique way.

KRL: Why was this particular show chosen?

Darren: The board took a look at the community and all of the struggles that everyone has gone through in the last 18 months– with COVID and the local fires– and we thought it would be good to remind people that there are always things in our life that are worth living for. This theme is iconic in It’s A Wonderful Life, and our goal is to shed some light and hope in our community this holiday season.

KRL: What was the hardest part about directing this show?

Darren: Finding the cast was a bit challenging at first, auditions were very light I should say and it took some work to find this cast. I think coming back from 2020 was a little scary for some folks but we did it and I am so grateful and proud of this cast. It’s not often you find the entire company working with a 110% attitude to make this an extraordinary performance. We are delighted and so excited to return to the stage this fall and I should say this has been a nice beginning back to the stage working on a straight show rather than a big musical this season. We look forward to 2022 to get back to a musical stay tuned for our announcement!

KRL: What was the most fun?

Darren: Watching this cast transform back into 1947 as voice actors in a studio. This cast really took this challenge on, they participated in a Masterclass on Voiceover technique and have been really doing a nice job with the skills they learned.

KRL: Who is in the show?

Darren: We have a great cast led by Mason Lamb, a newcomer to the stage. Mason plays the main Character George Bailey and is quite extraordinary in this role. I can’t wait for our audiences to see and hear Mason deliver. Another performance one not to miss is by veteran actor Jeff Myers as Uncle Billy and Clarence, George’s guardian angel. Jeff masterfully has this cast, and I’m sure you the audience, soon in laughter and delight as you listen and watch him go in and out of both characters brilliantly just to mention a few. This entire cast is something to come see they all are working very hard to master 65 characters with a cast of 22.

KRL: Is this the first in person show you have done since Covid? If so, what has it been like to be back?

Darren: This is our first show in person since COVID and it has been wonderful to be back in person working with the cast and producing art again.

KRL: What Covid precautions will be taken for the performances?

Darren: CenterStage will follow all state, county, and local guidelines regarding COVID-19 at the time of the performance. We have taken precautions during rehearsals with our cast, including holding some rehearsals via Zoom.

KRL: What are the dates and times of the performances and location?

Darren:

Saturday November 27th at 2pm (matinee)
Saturday November 27th at 7pm
Thursday December 2nd at 7pm
Friday December 3rd at 7pm
Saturday December 4th at 10am
Saturday December 4th at 2pm
Thursday December 9th at 7pm
Friday December 10th at 7pm
Saturday December 11th at 2pm
Saturday December 11th at 7pm

Location: Clovis Veterans Memorial District Auditorium, 808 Fourth Street, Clovis, CA 93612

KRL: How much are the tickets and how do you purchase them?

Darren: Tickets can be purchased on our website at centerstageclovis.com or at the door.
$20 Adult
$15 Student
$10 Child (5-12 years old)
Group of 10 or more: $12.50/ person ($125.00 total)
Family Pack $50, includes the following:
2 Adult Tickets
2 Student/Seniors Tickets

KRL: What is coming up next?

Darren: We are working on securing our Summer 2022 musical title, where we intend to return to the Mercedes Edwards Theater and back to our roots of a musical. Stay tuned for more!

KRL: Anything else that you would like to share?

Darren: This year is CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre’s 30th anniversary! We are so proud of all the past performers, Board Members, cast, and crews for getting CenterStage to where it is now, and we look forward to growing with the community and being here for another 30 years!

You can find more theatre articles, and other entertainment articles, in our Arts & Entertainment section.

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out our new Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can check the podcast out on Apple Podcasts and Google Play, and also on podbean.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and a contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet. Lorie’s brand new mystery novel, One of Us, is set in the Tower District of Fresno and the world of community theatre!

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