There are lots of reasons why “It’s a Wonderful Life” is enshrined as a holiday classic. At the top of the list is the story’s power to restore one’s faith in life, despite the soul-crushing events it throws at us.
This message has helped the story weather the decades since the 1940s. However, nostalgia could be another reason people cling to it. As technology evolves, “It’s a Wonderful Life” recalls a simpler time.
Starting Friday, you can visit that era in the Lewiston Civic Theatre’s enactment of a live radio broadcast of the tale. Five actors in period dress will provide the voices for more than 35 characters. The rest of the magic happens at the Foley table, where Lewiston’s Travis Osburn will create sound effects. The table, used in radio, film, video and other media, is named after Jack Foley, who helped transition movies from the silent era to sound. Foley found simple ways to reproduce everyday noises like the swish of clothing or squeaking doors. Many of his techniques are still in use today.
The show is directed by Cheryl Tousley, a recent addition to the theater’s ranks. Tousley is a retired drama teacher who spent her career at Clearwater Valley and Moscow high schools. She also directed shows at the Old Opera House Theatre in Kooskia.
Before the show, Osburn showed Inland 360 the secrets behind some of the sounds created at the table, which is on display at the Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: “It’s a Wonderful Life” radio play
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7-8 and 14-15; 2 p.m. Dec. 9 and 16
WHERE: Lewis-Clark State College Center for Arts & History, 415 Main St., Lewiston
COST: $15 general admission, $10 seniors, veterans and children. Tickets at lctheatre.org.
OF NOTE: An interactive Foley table is on display at the center through Dec. 15 during gallery hours, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.