Southeast Missouri State University student publication

River City Players Community Theatre brought holiday cheer to Port Cape

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
The cast returned to the stage after the break to enjoy Brooke and Brown's singing.
Photo by Hailey Hampton ~ Arrow Reporter

River City Players Community Theatre got into the holiday spirit early this year with the production of the live radio play of “It’s a Wonderful Life” in a dinner show running through Port Cape.

River City Players’ president Roseanna Whitlow-Greenwood, a retired Southeast speech professor, made the decision to put on the play, which ran Nov. 8 to 10.

She brought this show to the director Holly Raines who said she was thrilled to take on the Christmas classic.

“I always wanted to do a Christmas show since we hadn’t done one in awhile,” Raines said.

River Players Community Theatre is the only group that does dinner theatre in the area.

The 20-member-cast was larger than Raines typically works with, but it brought a lot of new talent to the theatre group.

“It was hectic, but I knew that with the talent that I had we would be OK,” Raines said. “I never worried or had any doubts.”

In the cast were Molly Wilhelm and her 11-year-old daughter Audrey Wilhelm. The mother played the characters of Violet and Ruth while Audrey played the daughters of George Bailey, Zuzu and Janie.

“This was a fun chance for us to get to act together,” Molly Wilhelm said. “It’s been really fun.”

Joy Brooker and Amy Brown sang Christmas songs before the play began.

This unique version of the film classic of “It’s a Wonderful Life” was set in the late 1940s and had the cast portraying actors in a radio station broadcast. It was not a typical play as they were confined to standing around the few microphones on stage.

“Seeing it as a radio play you pay more attention to the dialogue,” Raines said. “You hear those famous lines.”

The dinner show ran through Sunday Nov. 10.