It’s a Wonderful Success

Jason Bryant, Contributor

The HHS production of It’s a Wonderful Life, which ran from December 12 to 14, was a great success. The play, which consisted of a 75-person cast and crew, took two months to rehearse and choreograph under the direction of Jill Hackett and ended with one sold-out show and two shows that had few tickets to spare.

It’s a Wonderful Life is based on “The Greatest Gift,” a short story by Philip Van Doren Stern. The story is about a man named George who is about to commit suicide, but an angel named Clarence approaches him and shows him what life would be like if he is dead.

In the HHS production, the lead role of George Bailey was played by Dan Cassini, and Mary, the female lead, was played by Paige Inglese. Freshman Alex DePhillipo played Clarence and Brad Griffin played Henry F. Potter. The show began with a chorus singing “Silent Night,” which was followed by a prayer for George. As everyone who has seen the movie knows, George is in a lot of debt when his Uncle Billy misplaces $8,000 and Mr. Potter calls in the bank examiners.

The scene on the bridge with George thinking about suicide starts off the play and then the story goes back in time through Act One showing what nice things George did for everyone. In Act Two, the show wraps up with back-and-forth scenes from the Building & Loan to Mr. Potter’s office. This required fast set and cast changes under the direction of Julianna Kimberlin and Cassy  Rivera who said it was “stressful but gratify when it all came together, and it was fun working with the underclassmen.”

Costume quick change girl, Sara Inglese, said, “It was difficult because some people did not fit in costumes at first and because Mrs. Hackett didn’t like some of the costumes, but it all came together in the end and it was fun.” A play of this caliber takes a lot of time and effort. Since October, the cast attended 2½ hour rehearsals each night and the crew got busy in the beginning of November making the sets. During “tech week” the lighting and sound were added to the mix. Junior Ian Bruinooge was the director of the sound board, which controlled the microphones; he said, “It was a lot of fun doing sound, and it was worth it all the work.”