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"It's A Wonderful Life" Stage-Play Script, Music & Sound Effects

 

by Tony Palermo

Also available: Radio drama on-stage version of "It's a Wonderful Life"

I offer a professional adaptation of Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life--as a traditional stage drama, with sets, costumes and props. The stage play is faithful to the film while being thoroughly entertaining as a theatrical production.

Contact me at and tell me about your intended production. Performance rights vary according to the venue and length of the run. I accept credit cards via the free and secure www.Paypal.com service.  Once payment is received, the full script is delivered via e-mail as a PDF file. You can have the script, pre-recorded sound effects and music (and optionally, the sheet music for the original score) in your hands within hours.

I'm a working professional and I understand that sometimes changes need to be made to fit a troupe's budget and cast makeup. Unlike other playwrights, I allow you to skip or alter scenes, change the gender of characters, and fit the script to your troupe. Also, I allow you to make as many photocopies of the script as you need for cast and crew--at no additional fee.

Since I am also a professional sound effects artist, I offer pre-recorded tracks of the more unusual sounds--(plunging into the river, glass breaking, crickets, cars, etc.) for a one time fee. I also offer pre-recorded music tracks--using an authentic theater organ, piano, accordion and small jazz-combo (for one cue)--for a one-time fee. Additionally, I offer sheet music (for organ and piano) matching the pre-recorded music tracks.

You may also be interested in my other offerings--for the stage, or radio-on-stage:


It's A Wonderful Life is Tony Palermo's faithful stage adaptation of Frank Capra's classic film about dreams, sacrifice and redemption in small town America. Tony's imaginative adaptation has been performed by numerous professional troupes, community theatre troupes, schools and churches across the country. Tony's adaptation has been performed by such Hollywood professionals in productions starring Michael Richards, Sara Rue, Susan Sullivan and Orson Bean,  Alfred Molina, Brooke Adams and Tony Shalhoub, as well as another run, starring Joe Mantegna, Sharon Lawrence, Fred Willard, and Jamie Farr. The full show runs 102 minutes--without intermission, but the three act structure allows for several intermissions.

Free "It's A Wonderful Life" Stage-Play Script:
Here's a downloadable stage-play script, including scene excerpts and a truncated version of the 25-page appendix:

        SCRIPT SAMPLE - STAGE PLAY VERSION - It's A Wonderful Life - TRUNCATED.pdf

You can view/print the script, which is in the PDF format, via the free Adobe Acrobat reader program, which works for PCs and Macs. http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2_allversions.html

Tony's Notes On How to Produce 'It's A Wonderful Life' for the stage
Valuable information about how I've approached this adaptation and suggestions for how you handle your production.

Cast size:

Throughout the play, there are never more than 11 characters in a scene, so a small cast can easily perform the entire show. However, you can employ anywhere from 11 to 35 actors.

Maximum: 10 men, 9 women, 16 men-OR-women, and optionally, 2 boys and 2 girls (but those roles can be handled by adults--as in the golden age of radio.)
With doubling of roles, this show has been done with only 11 actors (7 men, 4 women) In the sample script above, you will find a 30-page appendix with suggestions for doubling roles.

George Bailey

Dreamer/Loan Officer (male)

Clarence

Angel, Second Grade (male)

Uncle Billy

Absent-minded clerk (male)

Mr. Potter

Warped, old financier (male)

Bert

Local policeman (male)

Ernie

Cab driver (male)

SAM WAINWRIGHT

Successful businessman (male)

POP Bailey

George’s father (male)

Harry Bailey

George’s younger brother (male)

MR. WELCH

Irate husband (male)

Mary Hatch Bailey

George’s Wife/Librarian (female)

VIOLET BICK

Easy girl (female)

Ma Bailey

George’s mother (female)

Cousin Tilly

Loan office clerk (female)

Mrs. Hatch

Mary’s mother (female)

Zuzu Bailey

Girl, age 5 (female)

Janie Bailey Girl, age 8 (female)

Dr. CAMPBELL

Board President (male/female)

MRS. THOMPSON

Shareholder (female)

Mrs. DAVIS

Shareholder (female)

SUPERINTENDENT

Boss of Angels (male/female)

Gower

Pharmacist (male/female)

Nick

Ornery shareholder/bartender (male/female)

MARTINI

Italian café owner (male/female)

CHARLIE

Difficult shareholder (male/female)

Young George Bailey

Boy, age 10 (male/female)

TOLL-TAKER

Toll-taker (male/female)

BANK TELLER

Bank clerk (male/female)

Eustace

Loan office clerk (male/female)

Carter

Bank Examiner (male/female)

PeteY Bailey

Boy, age 9 (male/female)

Nosey NEIGHBOR

Impatient neighbor (male/female)

RANDY

Shareholder (male/female)

SHERIFF

County Sheriff (male/female)

EdDY

Shareholder (male/female)

ALSO:    several extras for use as pedestrians and in crowd scenes

Pre-recorded sound effects
Available as pre-recorded tracks, over 30-minutes worth (downloadable MP3 files)

Track

Page-Cue

Description

01

P04-C04

Ice Cracks, splashes into ice pond

02

P05-C01

Gower’s phone rings (3X) – can be done live, also

03

P12-C06

Crickets #1

04

P14-C11

Distant window shattered by rock #1

05

P15-C05

Distant window shattered by rock #2

06

P27-C01

Downtown Bedford Falls (Traffic)

07

P30-C04

Crickets #2

08

P33-C01

“Buffalo Gals” 78RPM record

09

P33-C06

Mary’s phone – (20X) – can be done live, also

10

P38-C01

Cab driving #1

11

P39-C07

Cab pulls over

12

P43-C08

Uncle Billy’s phone – (1-1/2X) - can be done live

13

P50-C09

Office phone – (1-1/4X) - can be done live

14

P05-C01

Bailey’s phone rings (3X) - can be done live

15

P78-C05

Clarence jumps in river, splashes around

16

P79-C01

George jumps in river, splashes around

17

P82-C10

Magical harp glissando—UP 

18

P87-C01

Wind #1

19

P88-C06

Downtown Pottersville (Traffic)

20

P90-C01

Interior of cab driving #2

21

P94-C10

Wind #2 (Cemetery)

22

P99-C01

Police gunshots (2X) – off-stage action

23

P99-C04

Wind #3 (Bridge)

24

P100-C02

Magical harp glissando—DOWN

 

Pre-recorded musical score
36 minutes worth of music--featuring 1940s theatrical organ, piano, accordion and jazz combo. (downloadable MP3 files)

Track

Page/Cue

Description

1.

P01-C01

(BED) “Wonderful Overture" (OPTIONAL)

2.

P02-C01

(BED) “Wonderful Life Intro”

3.

P02-C03

(BED) “Heavenly” #1

4.

P04-C11

(BRIDGE) “Gower’s Sad Drugstore”

5.

P06-C08

(BED) “Tender Moment”

6.

P06-C13

(BRIDGE) “Rip to Heavenly”

7.

P11-C08

(BED) “Heavenly” #3

8.

P12-C05

(BRIDGE) Last 2 Bars of “Buffalo Gals” setup

9.

P17-C14

(BRIDGE) “Tragic” into “Heavenly”

10.

P23-C12

(BRIDGE) “Oh Well” segues to “Heavenly”

11.

P26-C16

(BRIDGE) “Downtown Bedford Falls”

12.

P30-C03

(BRIDGE) “From Violet to Mary”

13.

P37-C01

(BED) “Wrenching”

14.

P37-C07

(BED) “Heavenly” #6

15.

P37-C13

(BRIDGE) “Wedding March Taxi”

16.

P40-C02

(BED) “Act 1 Outro”

17.

P41-C01

(BED) “Wonderful Life Act 2 Intro”

18.

P41-C04

(BED) “Heavenly”

19.

P49-C13

(BED) “Time Passing”

20.

P52-C08

(BRIDGE) “Bride” to “Heavenly”

21.

P56-C03

(BRIDGE) “Indignant” to “Sleepy”

22.

P57-C11

(BRIDGE) “Baby” to “Heavenly”

23.

P58-C08

(BED) “War Montage”

24.

P63-C05

(BRIDGE) “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” - ends sourly

25.

P65-C02

(BRIDGE) “Lost” to “Heavenly”

26.

P66-C09

(BRIDGE) “Desperate” -- Let it Finish

27.

P67-C01

(SOURCE) Janie Piano Practice - #1 - “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

28.

P67-C05

(SOURCE) Janie Piano Practice - #2 - “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

29.

P70-C03

(SOURCE) Janie Piano Practice - #3 - “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”

30.

P71-C02

(BRIDGE) “Troubled”

31.

P73-C12

(BRIDGE) “Cruel” to “Heavenly”

32.

P74-C06

(SOURCE) “Santa Lucia” on accordion--gets abruptly stopped

33.

P76-C10

(BRIDGE) “Alone” to “Heavenly”

34.

P77-C03

(BRIDGE) ACT 2 Outro --ends in suspense chord

35

P78-C01

(BED) “Act 3 Intro/“Dire Bridge”

36.

P83-C09

(SOURCE) “Juke Joint Jingle Bells”--under entire scene

37.

P88-C05

(SOURCE) “Pottersville Streetscene”--under entire scene

38.

P89-C13

(BRIDGE) “I Know That Girl”

39.

P90-C14

(BRIDGE) “Empty Granville House”

40.

P92-C09

(GLISSANDO UP) “Magical Help”

41.

P92-C14

(BRIDGE) “Escape” to “Mean Mother”

42.

P94-C07

(BED) “Shattered” to “The Cemetery”

43.

P97-C03

(BRIDGE) “Lightly” to “Old Maid”

44.

P99-C02

(BED) “Lynch Mob” to “Redemption”

45.

Q101-C06

(BED) “Organ Hark The Herald Angels Sing”

46.

Q105-C09

(BED) “Piano Auld Lang Syne” – Janie playing

47.

Q105-C10

(BED) “Piano Auld Lang Syne” – Regular playing (OPTIONAL)

48.

Q107-C03

(BED) “Organ Auld Lang Syne” – Chorus only

49.

Q108-C01

(BED) “Organ Auld Lang Syne” – Verse & 2 choruses (OPTIONAL)

Sheet Music for "It's A Wonderful Life" score: 

                   Sheet Music for "Wonderful Life" score - COVER          Sheet Music for "Wonderful Life" score - Cue #1

I also offer sheet music that matches the above-described original score--to allow a single keyboardist to accompany your show--LIVE. The instrumentation consists of organ and piano.  The score is delivered via e-mail as a PDF document. The book also contains info on how to get 1940s organ sounds. NOTE: The accordion and jazz combo cues would be produced by pre-recorded tracks—included when you purchase the sheet music.

Free "It's A Wonderful Life" Stage-Play Score:
Here's a downloadable stage-play sheet music excerpt:

        SHEET MUSIC  SAMPLE - STAGE-PLAY - It's A Wonderful Life Overture - TRUNCATED.pdf

ALSO:  Many troupes find it useful to purchase both the sheet music AND the pre-recorded music tracks—since this allows the actors and crew to rehearse the full show without having the accompanist present at every rehearsal.


TONY PALERMO is an audio theatre producer, performer, and educator living in Los Angeles, California.
He performs professionally, conducts workshops, and produces programs for hire.
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Last modified: 08/26/13