It’s A Wonderful Life for MTS

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Chris Abbott

IAWLMalvern Theatre Society prepares to put on a production that will resonate with the audience.

The Malvern Theatre Society will be tackling subjects of suicide, community, and the meaning of humanity itself for this year’s production of It’s A Wonderful Life.

On opening night, The Duffy Theatre will be full of actors and actresses ready to perform in Malvern Theatre Society’s production of It’s A Wonderful Life.

Director of the Malvern Theatre Society, Dr. James Fry, is eager to incorporate a familiar cornerstone of Malvern’s philosophy into the play. “The play really ties into our school theme of caritas,” Fry said. “It’s the ability to support each other much like we do here on Malvern’s campus.”

Fry is referring to “caritas,” a virtue of Malvern, which means “love” in Latin.

“Hopefully people will walk away and think we all hit rock bottom at one point,” Fry said, “but always remember that they have God and family to pick us back up.”

MTS started in 1975 and is celebrating a milestone this year that reflects on the play chosen for the fall of 2015.

“This is our 40th year anniversary of MTS, so it’s kind of a big deal for us,” Fry said. “We thought it would be good to go back and make some of the classics to celebrate 40 years.”

Ted Holleran ’16 , playing the role of Ernie in the show, is working along with the cast on perfecting the play.

“We get there and Dr. Fry tells us what we need to do that day and we jump into action whether it be working on our character or rehearsing lines,” Holleran said.

Despite the rigorous rehearsals, Holleran said that it hasn’t been hard balancing schoolwork with practice

“It hasn’t been difficult,” he said. “When we’re not rehearsing our lines we usually just do homework backstage or in the set shop.”

Set designer Mr. Robert Muntz is in charge of creating all the set pieces and directing the stage crew.

“We have sculpture kids and stage crew kids that have been part of the design and have been working on the set for the past 2 weeks,” Muntz said. “We’re going to work on painting this week.”

Despite the complexity of the storyline, the play’s set is mostly focused around one set according to Mr. Muntz

“It’s centered around the bridge that George Bailey contemplates his life on, the one he’s thinking about jumping off of,” Muntz said. “That is the main thing we’ve been focusing on.”

Muntz’s goal is to create a distinct atmosphere for the set and to make sure the play’s set corresponds to the plot of the story.

“We want to create the mood of Christmas-time by making it dark because the play’s mostly set during the night,” Muntz said. “Realism is the main focus of the set.”

A new matinee show was implemented this year, starting at 3:00 PM on November 7. This is different from previous years’ usual time of 7:00 PM.

“The decision came about because there was a night football game scheduled that night,” Fry said. “Having that at the same time as the play could cause some interference with noise and parking, so we decided a matinee was the best option.”

The play’s opening night is November 6 at 7:00 PM, and will run on the 7, the 13, and will close on the night of the 14. Dr. Fry hopes to leave audience members feeling a certain way when they see the play for the first time.

“Family’s there through thick and thin,” Fry said. “Family’s there to love and support you.”

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