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Throwback Event Ushers in Holiday Season at Wildwood

December 02, 2014

It's a Wonderful Life  
"It's a Wonderful Life" will come to life as a live, 1940s radio broadcast at STLCC-Wildwood on Friday, Dec. 5.

After spending a long several weeks monitoring events in St. Louis on our phones, tablets and laptops, St. Louis Community College-Wildwood will give the community a chance to take a break from the media frenzy and create some holiday spirit by reliving the bygone days of the live radio play.

On Friday, Dec. 5, the beloved holiday classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” will come to life as a live, 1940s radio broadcast at STLCC-Wildwood, 2645 Generations Drive. The play will feature actors in front of old-fashioned microphones. The audience will also be able to see Foley artists as they create their special effects.

Initially developed in the 1920s, radio plays had become the leading form of popular entertainment by the 1940s. One of the most famous radio drama broadcasts was Orson Welles’ “The War of the Worlds,” a 1938 version of the H.G. Wells novel. There were dozens of programs in many different genres, including mysteries, thrillers, soap operas and comedies.

In the era of old-time radio, sound effects were created by sound effects men and occasionally women called Foley artists. The sound effects technicians collected an enormous array of objects to create the mood and add detail to the play, including unlikely sources such as corn flakes, Jelly Beans and scrub brushes. While recorded effects were first used as early as 1928, most of the sounds were created live.

Seating is on a first come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. In the spirit of the season, visitors are asked to bring a canned good to donate to The Circle of Concern food pantry or a new, unwrapped toy for Santa’s Helpers.