October 23, 2018
It truly is a wonderful life for the Atholton High School Drama Department, as they begin to gear up for the annual fall play.
This go around, the drama department is performing the 1946 movie-turned-play, It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.
The play is a drama/fantasy show about a man realizing how much he matters to his friends, family, and his society in general. The movie had been nominated for five Oscars, and took home one for Technical Achievement. Frank Capra, the director of the movie, won a Golden Globe for Best Director.
Entering his 21st year as Atholton’s Drama teacher and Theater Director, Mr. Rosen is behind the scenes yet again, leading both the annual fall play and spring musical all while keeping track of his English class.
“I’m always thinking about what’s a show that might be interesting to the community, to the students, and to me, and I have loved this movie for decades, and when I found a stage version of it that was manageable; that seemed like it would be interesting for our students to do,” said Rosen.
In order to make the show transport the audience to 1946, the tech crew will be employing “foleys,” a technique in which sounds are made by people and props, opting to not use a soundboard, which controls the wired and wireless microphones attached to the actors and the house speakers. Mr. Rosen even admitted that he has not done a production with foleys before in his career.
“I’m always thinking about what’s a show that might be interesting to the community, to the students, and to me.”
Brenna Lindberg, senior and current head of the sound department, elaborated that this play is going to be “very different” because “In the past, [the sound effects have] all been things that we’ve recorded beforehand or audio recordings that we found.”
Rosen proclaimed he has set up “the challenge of doing those sound effects as much like the way they might have done it in the 1940s as possible,” and says that, “For example, they recommend Corn Flakes for the sound of crunching footsteps.”
Not only do foleys completely change up the way the sound department will function, it will also give the carpentry department much more responsibility than they would be used to.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun, being on stage and knowing how everything works, like ‘Oh! That’s where that goes. So that’s what that sound effect is,’ so it’s going to be fun,” said Cameron Goodwin-Schoen, junior, the head of carpentry and the actor portraying the main villain, Mr. Potter. He believes that balancing the two roles will be challenging, yet intriguing all the same.
Goodwin-Schoen added that, because of the inclusion of foleys, his carpentry team will be doing more “guess and check, or figuring out what can do what, either finding designs or using things that we already have to create the correct noises… it’s going to be a lot of fun, but it’s going to be a lot of work figuring out the right sounds, and how to make it identifiable for the audience.”
The play will run on Saturday, November 10th, at 7 PM; Sunday, November 11th, at 3 pm; Friday, November 16th, at 7 PM, and Saturday, November 17th, at 7 PM in the Atholton High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 for pre-purchase online or at lunch closer to the show dates and $15 at the door.
The actors and tech crew are putting all of their energy into making this performance possible. They want the moon with this performance, and they’re willing to throw a lasso around it and pull it down.
In the video above, Goodwin-Schoen shows how this example of a foley that will be used in the play.