It’s A Wonderful Life

It’s a Wonderful Life:
a Live Radio Play

Adapted by Joe Landry
Based on the story The Greatest Gift
by Philip Van Doren Stern

Directed by
Ashley Cambers

Assistant Director
Abbi Starcher

Assistant Director
Abbi Starcher

Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.
(www.playscripts.com)

Video or audio recording and photographing of any FFP production
are strictly prohibited.

CAST

Freddie Filmore • Roger Kranz
Jake Laurents • Marcus Schatzer
Sally Applewhite • Jill Coppus
Lana Sherwood Christie Insley
Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood • Jeff Lee
Stage Manager/Foley Artist • Mariah Clawson

SETTING

The stage and auditorium of Studio A at WBFR in Manhattan, New York.
Christmas Eve, 1946.

SPECIAL NOTE

This evening’s show will be performed without an intermission. The cast and production team cordially invite the audience to join them in the basement for refreshments and conversation immediately following the performance.

BIOGRAPHIES

Ashley Cambers (Director) is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received her M.A. in Educational Theatre in Colleges and Communities from New York University. She has directed The Most Epic Birthday Party Ever, The Grunch, and The SpongeBob Musical for Perrysburg Musical Theatre as well as Madagascar, Jr. for the Perrysburg Youth Summer Theatre. Her Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) play, George and the Hidden Dragon, was featured in CATCO’s 2021 New Works Festival and was performed during the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts 2023 Night of One Acts. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild.

Abigail Starcher (Assistant Director) is pleased to return for her third show at FFP as the assistant director of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play. Abigail played Sally Applewhite/Mary Hatch in this show during her time at UF and is very pleased to be involved again with this wonderful production! Abigail recently choreographed Hello, Dolly! this summer for FFP and made her FFP stage debut as Nurse Gladys in Out of Order. Abigail would like to thank Ashley Cambers, the cast, and production team for their efforts. Abigail would also like to thank her father and boyfriend for their unparalleled support.

Samantha Henry (Producer) most recently appeared on the Playhouse stage as Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly!. Some other favorite performances include White Christmas (Betty Haynes), Making God Laugh (Maddie), Daddy’s Dyin’: Who’s Got the Will? (Sara Lee Turnover), Company (Amy), A Minister’s Wife (Candida Morell), Nice Work If You Can Get It (Billie Bendix), Crimes of the Heart (Babe), The Last Five Years (Cathy), Titanic (Caroline Neville), and Jekyll and Hyde (Emma). Some favorite directorial credits include The Spongebob Musical, Mary Poppins, James and the Giant Peach, Bright Star, Legally Blonde: The Musical, and The Bridges of Madison County. Samantha is the Director of Nursing at E.C.I., Inc. and serves as the President of the FFP Board of Trustees.

Matthew Frost (Rehearsal Assistant) made his stage debut as the court clerk, waiter, and a member of the ensemble in Hello, Dolly! and had a blast performing on the stage for the first time. He ran sound for last season’s production of Mary Poppins, which marked his first experience being part of a theatre production. Since that time, he has enjoyed immersing himself in a variety of theatre experiences, ranging from set builds and post-show set strikes to helping with patron mailings. Matthew is originally from New York, but moved to Findlay in 2022 with his husband, Timothy, and their two cats, Elphaba and Nessa, for his husband to attend graduate school at BGSU. When not working, he enjoys spending time with his husband, traveling to new places, cooking and baking, playing video games, and singing.

Mariah Clawson (Stage Manager/Foley Artist) is thrilled to return to the FFP stage as the Stage Manager/Foley Artist. Some of her favorite theatre credits include Minnie Fay in FFP’s Hello, Dolly!, Scenic Artist for MCPA Youtheatre’s Spongebob the Musical, and Suzy in Winter Wonderettes with the Hardin County Players. Mariah holds an MA in Theatre from Bowling Green State University and currently resides in Kenton. She is an avid reader, voice actor, and writer. Mariah extends a special thanks to her parents, partner Marcus (break a leg!), and her puppy, Poppy. She is also grateful to the cast, crew, and audience for welcoming her to the FFP stage.

Jill Coppus (Sally Applewhite) was last seen on the Playhouse stage as Judy Haynes in White Christmas and Prosecutor Mara in Miracle on 34th Street. She has also served as the producer for Mary Poppins and the rehearsal assistant and stage manager for The Addams Family. She is a nurse in the ER at Blanchard Valley Hospital and lives in Findlay with her husband, Shawn, children (Corinna and Ethan), and pet cat, Tiger. Jill wishes to give a heartfelt thanks to this amazing production team for the opportunity to perform on stage again. She also wants to thank you for coming out to see this fun show. Enjoy!

Christie Insley (Lana Sherwood) doesn’t live anywhere; she decided to go nomadic in 2019 and volunteer her way around the world, which seemed like a great idea until the pandemic hit a few months later and the entire planet shut down. She’s been making the most of it by traveling stateside as much as possible and is currently spending the winter in Findlay with her mother. She’s a freelance writer, primarily for children’s animation, and has written for such shows as Dinosaur Train and Ready Jet Go! (both for PBS Kids), Word Party (The Jim Henson Co.), and Not Quite Narwhal (DreamWorks Animation). Christie did a little stage acting a looong time ago and some of her favorite roles include Anybodys in West Side Story, Little Red in Into the Woods, Snoopy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and one of the Foxes in the children’s show Foxtales, which toured St. Petersburg and Moscow, igniting in her a deep love of travel and an appreciation for other cultures. In her downtime, Christie enjoys reading, yard work, being in nature, and petting dogs she meets on hiking trails. If you’d like her to petsit for you, please find her after the show. Christie would like to thank her mom for letting her crash in the guest room, and for all the fun times, shared meals, and intimate conversations they’ve been having. What a gift.

Roger Kranz (Freddie Filmore) was born at West Point, New York, where his father was stationed in the Army, but he is essentially a lifelong resident of Findlay. He discovered the career of his life in 1980 when he began hosting a weekly classical music program as a community volunteer on WLFC, the student radio station at what was then Findlay College. That led to Findlay’s commercial radio stations and a 39-year career–the majority of which he served as Production Director for commercial creation. In several of those years, Roger was involved in broadcasting Christmas plays – often in association with the Fort Findlay Playhouse, including It’s a Wonderful Life. But for this production some 25 years later, Roger is assuming a spoken role for the very first time.

Jeff Lee (Harry “Jazzbo” Heywood) made his FFP debut in 2016 as Sergeant Trotter in The Mousetrap and was seen most recently in Hello, Dolly! (Horace Vandergelder), Mary Poppins (John Northbrook), The Addams Family (Mal Beineike), Life with Father (Clarence Day, Sr.), and Harvey (Elwood P. Dowd). Jeff lives in Findlay with his husband, Rob Stauffer, and their menagerie of animals. He is eternally grateful to his family and friends for their love and support.
Marcus Schatzer (Jake Laurents) is honored to participate in his first on-stage role at the Fort Findlay Playhouse. Previously, he helped build the set for Hello, Dolly! and built and designed the set for Out of Order. Marcus extends his biggest thanks to his partner, Mariah, for her support and love. He also thanks his friends, family, and puppy, Poppy. Marcus is grateful to the cast, crew, and audience for welcoming him to the FFP family and stage.