Juneau Radio Center and Coeur Alaska - Kensington Mine present:
This Wonderful Life
By Steve Murray
Directed by Leslie Ishii and Josh Lowman
Starring Wes Mann
“Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings!” Sound familiar? Cozy up with Perseverance Theatre this holiday season for a retelling of everyone’s favorite holiday classic: It’s a Wonderful Life. One actor embodies every role, bringing the story of George Bailey to life with humor, heart, and a little bit of magic. So hold on to Zuzu’s petals, turn up the volume of “Buffalo Gals”, and join us in Bedford Falls for a sprinkle of holiday cheer and a timeless reminder of what it means to live a wonderful life.
This Wonderful Life will be available to stream on demand from December 19-25 through Perseverance Theatre, and December 19-30 through Broadway On Demand.
We are thrilled to introduce Perseverance Everywhere, as we continue this unprecedented season. Most of our shows this year will be streamed as Live Video Theatre, and as such will be available around the state, the country, and the world! This is a fantastic solution for Perseverance to continue to bring you the magic of live theatre straight to the comfort and safety of your home. Just like with live, in-person theatre, shows will be performed in real time, but instead of gathering in our theatre to watch, we will bring the theatre to you. Productions will also be available for a limited time on-demand. Because of this new format, we are offering a membership program similar to Netflix or Hulu. Simply choose a package and pay a monthly fee to receive various streamed performances as well as other goodies from Perseverance Theatre. This is Perseverance Everywhere, and by purchasing a package, not only are you getting a great deal, you receive the added value of knowing you are helping professional, regional theatre in Alaska to sustain and thrive in these challenging and unprecedented times. Please read below for rates and descriptions of all that is included in each package.
About the Actor
Wesley Mann first appeared on Television in May of 1988 on the Mother’s Day episode of Golden Girls in a scene with Betty White and the late great Geraldine Fitzgerald. An auspicious beginning to a most diverse and versatile career. Soon followed the motion pictures, My Stepmother is an Alien and Who’s Harry Crumb? that same year. Perhaps his best known role came shortly after that, a small but memorable role in Back To The Future II which has landed him squarely in the cultural literacy of not just the US but abroad as well, given the popularity of that trilogy. He’s the “I think he stole his wallet” guy! Sprinkled in there was a memorable guest appearance on Night Court where he played a man suffering from “Tortoise Nervosa” which was met with great reviews. Numerous sitcom appearances followed. Murphy Brown, Amen, Home Improvement, Family Matters, Full House and a recurring role on That’s So Raven as the spitting principal Mr. Lawler. He was also a series regular on the very popular children’s show Adventures in Wonderland as the wise old Caterpillar. Recently he has
appeared on Pair of Kings, Veronica Mars, Lucifer, Lady Dynamite and on film in Soul Surfer. To add to all of this he has never strayed too far from the theatre, having spent
eleven seasons at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival playing major roles in seventeen of Shakespeare’s plays and also teaching his Elements of Comedy Workshops. He is a versatile and energetic character actor who is always looking for the
next challenge. His current challenge is creating art during a global pandemic, which is why he is so grateful for his association with and his debut at Perseverance Theatre!
Artistic Director's Note
Welcome to Perseverance Theatre’s 42nd Season: Perseverance Everywhere!
We are so delighted you are joining us for the holidays and our virtual reboot of This Wonderful Life by Steve Murray.
As we begin our viewing experience, Perseverance Theatre acknowledges and shares their learnings of the unceded lands upon which our theatre is located.
We reside on the territories of the Áakʼw Ḵwáan and their neighbors, Tʼaaḵú Ḵwáan, on what is currently known as Douglas and Juneau, Alaska. It is all Lingit Aani, Tlingit land, which has been stewarded by the Tlingit peoples since time immemorial. Additionally, we invite you to join us in honoring and expressing deep gratitude to the Dena’ina Peoples of Southcentral Alaska where we also conduct our work in Anchorage. We invite you to honor these beautiful Tlingit and Dena’ina homelands. Gunalchéesh/Háw’aa, T'oyaxsn, and Chin’an gheli.
This Wonderful Life is a one-person stage adaptation of Oscar nominated, It’s A Wonderful Life directed and written by Frank Capra. The film debuted in 1946 and it is uncanny how the events and themes of the film and play are timely in these moments of struggle due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our accomplished actor, Wesley Mann, adept at creating multiple roles within a play, shares, “…the story is nostalgic, but it is also a tale about altruism and taking care of each other, because none of us gets out of this world alive.”
It was such a powerful collaboration with co-director, Josh Lowman, our Associate Managing Director, who is also a talented filmmaker. When talking with him, he shared that he is moved by this story as we get to examine what it means to learn, right when we feel we have failed others, that we have made a difference in many people’s lives.
This project has special significance as my husband, Wesley Mann and I, had the vision with our talented creative team, to bring this holiday gift of This Wonderful Life, a story of community, to you, our beloved community.
I can’t thank you enough for joining us for the holidays and hope this brings you joy of the season. We invite you to continue this journey of perseverance with us to lovingly support each other’s resilience and sustained health and well-being.
It remains an honor and pleasure to serve as your Artistic Director.
Gunalchéesh, Háw’aa, T’oyaxsn, and Chin'an gheli ~
Best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season!
The staff and Board of Perseverance Theatre would like to dedicate This Wonderful Life to Peter Freer, long-time friend of the theatre. Peter served on the Perseverance Board from 1986 - 1999 and was Vice President from 1995 - 1997, President from 1997 – 1999, and served as Co-Managing Director in the 2007 - 2008 season. From the very start of Perseverance, he gave much of himself to make it successful. As a volunteer in many capacities, Peter was insightful, kind, level-headed, generous, and energetic. He will be missed.
This Wonderful Life has a largely uplifting message of hope and human connection, but it does touch on the theme of suicide. If you or a loved one is struggling, here are a few resources: