Students' 1940s radio play thanks Elmcroft community

From left, Isabella Delgado, Cailey Miller, Zach Dockal and Hunter Morris.

Dressed in flared skirts and plaid suits, theatre students stepped back to 1940s and entertained dozens of residents of the Elmcroft of the Mainland Senior Living Community in Texas City with “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

“I thought it was excellent. It reminded me of my childhood when I listened to the radio. The sound effects brought it all back. The actors were all right on tone,” said Genevieve Albert, a resident of Elmcroft.

With ringing of bells and a recorder mimicking the sound of swirling snow, students recreated the Christmas classic. The performance was given partly to give back to the community and partly to thank a longtime COM Foundation donor who lives at the facility.

“I was probably a teen [when I first saw the movie],” said Deloris Robinson, a 92-year-old resident of Elmcroft. “I thoroughly enjoyed [the radio play]. The actors were wonderful, especially George Bailey and his brother.”

Shealynn Goodwin, a theatre major from Santa Fe, played Rose Bailey, Janie and Mrs. Thompson.

“This is set in the 1940s. This audience grew up in the 1940s, so it brings back memories," said Goodwin. "They’ll say ‘I used to dress like that.’ One lady told me she had season passes to radio theatre.”

Hunter Morris, of Santa Fe, played Billy Bailey and several other characters and enjoyed the vocal challenge.

“There’s a lot of voices you have to create,” said Morris. “The more distinctive and specific you sound, the easier it is to distinguish the characters.”

COM students debuted radio plays this fall with Chiller Radio Theatre, four spooky plays. H. Russ Brown, COM theatre/artistic director, brought the idea of radio plays to COM to give students more performing opportunities.

“Radio plays are quick and easy to produce since they require no sets, no complex lighting design and the only costumes are suits and dresses, like the ladies and gentlemen of the golden age of radio,” said Brown.

Students will again perform “It’s a Wonderful Life” Dec. 15 in the COM Fine Arts Building at 7 p.m. The cost of admission is one unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

Performers include Max Bailey, Bella Delgado, Zach Dockal, Tyler Fayad, Marcus Huskey, Mackenzie Land, Reagan Maniscalco, Cailey Miller, Hunter Morris, Peter Rogers and Shealyn Goodwin.

For more information on the COM theatre program, visit www.com.edu/theatre.

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