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It's A Wonderful Life

Based On The Lux Radio Theater Script.
Adapted by Sarah Lynn Brown.

AVAILABLE FOR ONLINE STREAMING! Celebrate the holidays with the very first show ever presented at The Rose Theater in 1995! Meet George Bailey, whose guardian angel has to descend on Christmas Eve to save him from despair and to remind him that his has been, after all, a wonderful life. Featuring live music from the era and a virtuosic cast playing multiple roles, this production is the perfect homage to the power of community.

  • Run Dates Dec. 5 - Dec 20, 2020 ONLINE
  • Appropriate Ages All Audiences
  • Duration 75 minutes
  • Ticket Price Single Tickets on sale August 1, 2017

Please note: This page is an archival record of the 2020 production of It’s a Wonderful Life. For information on the 2021 production, please click here.

Show Program

Cast

  • Actor 1 (Clarence) – Wayne Hudson II
  • Actor 2 (Joseph) – Stella Clark-Kaczmarek
  • Actor 3 (George Bailey) – Marcel Daly
  • Actor 4 (Peter/Mary) – Delaney Jackson
  • Actor 5 (Billy/Harry) – Zhomontee Watson
  • Actor 6 (Potter/Burt/Others) – Matthew Olsen
  • Actor 7 (Pete/Sam/Others) – Natalie Hanson
  • Actor 8 (Violet/Erin/others) – Carina Dumarce
  • Actor 9 (Janie/others) – Maddie Smith
  • Actor 10 (Zuzu/others) – Anina Frey
  • Actor 11 (Understudy 3 & 6) – Kevin Ehrhart
  • Actor 12 (Understudy 4, 5, 7, 8) – Caulene Hudson-Pace
  • Actor 13 (Understudy 1, 2, 9, 10) – Grace Garrigan

Artistic/Production Credits

  • Director – Sarah Brown
  • Assistant Director – LaDareon ‘LD’ Copeland
  • Music Director – Jerry Brabec
  • Choreographer – Sue Gillespie Booton
  • Stage Manager – Lisa Krabbenhoft
  • Scenic Designer – Lindsey Purvis
  • Lighting Designer – Matt Benes
  • Sound Designer/Engineer – Christy Hernandez
  • Costume Designer – Sherri Geerdes
  • Hair & Makeup Designer – Zach Kloppenborg
  • Director of Production – Erin M. Solemsaas
  • Technical Director – Hunter Andrews
  • Props Mistress – Devon Denn-Young
  • Scenic Charge Artist – Savannah Savick
  • Master Carpenter – Jackson Curtright
  • Stitchers – Sherri Geerdes, Zach Kloppenborg, Audio Helkuik
Wayne Hudson II

Wayne Hudson II

Actor 1 (Clarence) -

Wayne Hudson II is beyond excited to be back at The Rose and performing in It's A Wonderful Life for the people of Omaha. Wayne is a proud Rose kid and grew up performing and learning on The Rose's stages and in its classes from fifth grade through his freshman year at Millard North High School. Wayne has been a very involved student performer since his time at The Rose. He's participated in Millard North Show Choir, competing across the country and winning performance titles, been a devout student of the Millard North Choir Program, and performed in shows with the Millard North Drama Department. In 2019, he won an "Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role" Award from the Nebraska High School Theater Awards for his role as Terk in Tarzan, and in 2020 won an "Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role" award with the NHSTAs for his role as The Wolf in Into the Woods. That same season he was a finalist with the NHSTAs in their competition to send two people to perform at the Jimmy Awards. Now as a senior in high school, Wayne Hudson II is back home at The Rose as a High School intern and working in classrooms with Rose educators and students. He is looking at schools for his studies past high school, hoping to study Acting/Performance Technique or Theater Education.

Stella Clark-Kaczmarek

Stella Clark-Kaczmarek

Actor 2(Joseph)

Marcel Daly

Marcel Daly

Actor 3 (George Bailey) -

Marcel Daly is thrilled and blessed to be back at The Rose Theater this season. While attending University of Nebraska Omaha, he has performed around the area while completing his studies, and graduated with a degree in Vocal Performance in 2019. Some of Marcel's credits include: Benny in In the Heights (SNAP! Productions), Davy in Newsies (The Rose Theater), Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid (The Rose Theater), Reuben in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (the New Theatre Dinner and Restaurant), and Prince Char in Ella Enchanted (Rose Theatre). In the future, Marcel plans to pursue a career as a performer, composer, writer and lyricist. Instagram: @mdaly_27

Delaney Jackson

Delaney Jackson

Actor 4 (Peter/Mary) -

Delaney Jackson is a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska Omaha; obtaining her  Bachelor's Degree in Theatre with a concentration in directing and performance this past May. She is now an actor and director based in her native Omaha with her most recent credits including the QWIT Playwright Festival as director of Faith Under the Skin and assistant director of Cassandra, as well as acting in UNO's productions of Dogfight as Marcy, Little Wars as The Harvester and The Wolves as #25. 

Zhomontee Watson

Zhomontee Watson

Actor 5 (Billy/Harry) -

Zhomontee Watson is an established actress, singer, and full-time graduate student and a graduate assistant at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is currently finishing her masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and will graduate in May 2021.You may recognize Zhomontee from her roles as Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act (Omaha Community Playhouse), Washing Machine in Caroline, or Change (Omaha Community Playhouse), Miss Medda Larkin in Newsies (The Rose Theater), and Asaka in Once on This Island (SNAP! Productions and South High School). Zhomontee has recieved multiple awards and one being the OEAA for Best Actress in a Musical in 2017 for her role as Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act.

Matthew Olsen

Matthew Olsen

Actor 6 (Potter/Burt/Others) -

Matthew R. Olsen (he/him) is thrilled to be back on The Rose stage, after last spring’s Howie D: Back in the Day! You may have seen him around Omaha with Bluebarn Theatre (The Woodsman, Venus in Fur), Brigit St. Brigit (Bernhardt/Hamlet), Shakespeare On the Green (Much Ado, King John, Merry Wives, King Lear, Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Othello), Nebraska Shakespeare On Tour (Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Midsummer, As You Like It). Other select Regional credits include: The Matchmaker, Both Your Houses (dir. Frank Galati), True West, School For Lies, How I Learned To Drive & Oleanna. Matthew is an actor/director/facilitator. He holds a BFA from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and an MFA from Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Currently— Adjunct Faculty in Acting at University of Nebraska-Omaha. Thank you to my Family (theatrical & biological) for your constant support. 

Natalie Hanson

Natalie Hanson

Actor 7 (Pete/Sam/Others) -

Natalie is a Chicago-based performer from Seattle. A Creighton alum, she is ecstatic to be back in Omaha for It's a Wonderful Life. She was last seen as Pollyanna D. in the world premier of Howie D: Back in the Day with The Rose Theater. Other noted Omaha credits include Peter Pan (Tigerlily) and Newsies! (Tommyboy) with The Rose Theater, and Heathers the Musical (ensemble) with the BlueBarn Theatre. She was last seen in Hope: Part 2 of a Mexican Trilogy (Betty U/S) with Teatro Vista Theatre in Chicago. During quarantine, Natalie self-produced and released a debut alternative genre album called Likewise on Spotify and Apple Music under the artist name Facade Queen. She recently choreographed and filmed a dance piece to an original song for TBD Dance Collective's Making Space 2020. To keep up with Natalie's artistic endeavors, her instagram is @facadequeen. Thanks to Mom, Dad, and Em for lifting me up always. 

Carina Dumarce

Carina Dumarce

Actor 8 (Violet/Erin/Others) -

Carina is an Indigenous performer and Teaching Artist originally from South Dakota. While studying Theater Arts at Minnesota State University Moorhead, in Moorhead MN, Carina worked as a freelance theater artist directing, choreographing, prop designing, stage managing, teaching, and acting.
In Fall of 2018, Carina made their way to The Rose Theater to start as a Teaching Artist Fellow.
Some of their favorite theatrical endeavors include ​Winnie the Pooh ​(as Winnie the Pooh)​, Darkness Like A Dream (as Hermia),​The Jungle Book (​as Baloo)​, Eurydice ​(Director)​, Cinderella: If the Shoe Fits​(Director/Choreographer)​, A Year with Frog and Toad​(Stage Manager) and ​Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Stage Manager/Prop Designer). To everyone in the cast and creative team, thank you. What a special show to be a part of during this wild time. To every young human in the audience, do not be afraid to use your voice to stand up for what is right, for what you believe is good in this world. #MMIW #BLM

Maddie Smith

Maddie Smith

Actor 9 (Janie/others) -

Maddie is excited to return to The Rose Theater after playing Shawanda in Elf the Musical in December 2019, and Matilda in Matilda The Musical in June 2019. She is a freshman at Marian High School where she is a member of the Mock Trial Team and the Speech Team. Maddie made her Rose Theater debut in The Doll Maker’s Gift in 2019 as Nora. Her previous theater credits include productions at the Omaha Community Playhouse: Little Fiona in Shrek The Musical (2018) , James Trotter in James and the Giant Peach (2018) , Chip in Beauty and the Beast (2017) and A Christmas Carol (2015 – 2018) playing the roles of Girl with Sled, Belinda Cratchit and Fan. In her spare time, Maddie loves to read, play her guitar and ukulele, listen to her favorite music on Spotify (especially holiday classics), and spend time with her beloved dog, Mori. Christmas is Maddie’s favorite time of year and she is excited to celebrate with this wonderful cast to present this classic and beautiful story to The Rose Theater audiences!

Anina Frey

Anina Frey

Actor 10 (Zuzu/others) -

Anina is in 3rd grade and attends Elkhorn Public Schools.  She has appeared in several productions at Omaha Community Playhouse, including ONCE, ANNIE, and MAMMA MIA (Young Sophie).  She also played Lulu in Omaha's production of the national Broadway tour of WAITRESS.  She has been a member of The Rose's Mini Brigade for 3 years, appearing this year as "Anna" in FROZEN JR.  Anina takes ballet and tap at The Rose, as well as piano lessons.  She loves to bake and make crafts.

Kevin Ehrhart

Kevin Ehrhart

Actor 11 (Understudy 3 & 6) -

Kevin Ehrhart has been a member of the Omaha Theater Company staff since 1989 as a Director/Actor/Instructor and Chief Technology Officer. While at the theater, he has directed mainstage, studio theater and national touring productions. His directing credits include Charlotte’s Web, Treasure Island, Old Yeller, The Giver, A Year in The Life of Frog and Toad and Pinkalicious. Recently, Kevin directed Sherlock Holmes and First Baker Street Irregular and The Cat in the Hat. Kevin’s acting credits include George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Cat in the Hat in Seussical and George in George and Martha. As an instructor, Kevin teaches Acting Technique classes for BROADWAY at the Rose and DRAMA at the Rose classes on Saturday mornings.

Caulene Hudson-Pace

Caulene Hudson-Pace

Actor 12 (Understudy 4, 5, 7, 8) -

Caulene is an Omaha-based theatre artist. She has worked with The Rose for the past six years in many positions, including teaching artist, director, and actor. She holds a Masters in Theater from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Some past favorite theatre moments include: performing as Wiggins (The Rose's Sherlock Holmes and the First Baker Street Irregular), co-directing 2 years of the immersive experience Walk the Night (presented by the Blue Barn), and performing as a Puppeteer and Ensemble Member in the Strangemen's Theatre Company's remount of The Woodsman (presented by the Blue Barn). Caulene is a cat mom and loves to knit.

Grace Garrigan

Grace Garrigan

Actor 13 (Understudy 1, 2, 9, 10) -

Grace Garrigan is a senior at Saint Albert Catholic High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She is a High School Intern at The Rose this year and has been volunteering at The Rose for four years now. Grace has written for the Rose´s Young Playwrights Festival for two years and has acted in the festival for three years. She has participated in all of her school musicals/plays and has been very active at the Chanticleer Community Theater. Grace has also led her speech team to State and All-State in both group and individual events during her high school career. Next year, Grace will study Theater and Speech Education at Northwest Missouri State University as she found her love for teaching right here at The Rose!

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

Director -

Sarah has worked in Omaha as a director, actor, and educator for the past 20 years. In 2016, she founded an all-female production program, Juno’s Swans, which produced adaptations of The Taming of the Shrew, Richard 3, Julius Caesar, and All's Well That Ends Well. Through her work with Juno’s Swans, Sarah has explored gender performance using creative character/movement development techniques, unlocking a personal understanding of gender performance and how our current culture has shaped and defined gender roles in society. She is passionate about challenging previous assumptions of Shakespeare and Gender Performance, expanding perception and reception of performance on and off stage. 
As an educator and director, Sarah has worked for Nebraska Shakespeare, Utah Shakespeare, NTC productions, Folger Library Theatre, The Blue Barn, Omaha Performing Arts, Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University, and The Rose Theatre. Sarah has also taught and directed in numerous Omaha Metro High Schools and Middle Schools. She has a Masters of Arts in Theatre Education from the University of Northern Colorado and a BA from University of Nebraska at Omaha in Theatre Performance.

Jerry Brabec

Jerry Brabec

Music Director -

Jerry Brabec, tenor, is an Ordained Deacon on the clergy staff at Omaha St. Paul United Methodist Church where he serves as Minister of Worship.  His responsibilities include the overseeing of liturgical preparation for the congregation of 400.  He also serves as choral director for Temple Israel’s Kol Rina.  Awarded the Master of Music degree from the University of Nebraska, he studied choral conducting with Dr. Cina Crisara and Dr. Z. Randall Stroope.  As a chorister of the acclaimed Robert Shaw Festival Chorus at Carnegie Hall, he sang for five years under the baton of the late Robert Shaw, was twice selected one of six participants in the Alice Parker Melodius Accord Fellowship Program and frequently continues his conducting studies with Ms. Parker during January in New York.  At The Rose for the past twelve seasons, “It’s a Wonderful Life” marks his 44th show as a visiting music director/vocal coach.  He also serves as music director for the nationally acclaimed Rose Brigade, one of the award winning offerings of the “Broadway at The Rose” program.  Formerly, Jerry taught at the high school level for Council Bluffs Community Schools, served as associate artistic director of the Omaha Clarion Chorale, and as artistic director for the Kanesville Chorus and Renaissance Faire of the Midlands. 

Sue Gillespie Booton

Sue Gillespie Booton

Choreographer -

Sue Gillespie Booton’s national tour credits include "Annie Get Your Gun", "Beehive", and
"Grease". Most recent credits include "Elf" (Sam/Mrs. Santa), World Premiere of "The Dollmaker’s Gift", (Pola/Rebecca), "Rocky Horror" (Columbia), "Ring of Fire" (Ensemble) and "Always,
Patsy Cline" (Louise). She was an original cast member in Omaha’s longest running musical, "Beehive" (Brenda Lee, Petula Clark, Janis Joplin), and appeared in shows on Royal Carribean, Carnival, Royal Viking and Europe’s Sally Cruise Lines. Other Rose stage appearances include "Madagascar" (Gloria), "Cinderella" (Fairy Godmother) and "Cat in the Hat", (Thing #1). Choreographic credits include "Elf The Musical", "Matilda", Disney’s "Newsies", "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever", "Madagascar", "Mary Poppins", "A Christmas Story", "Tarzan", "Narnia", "Peter Pan", "HONK!" and "Annie - The Musical". She won the 2019 Omaha Entertainment Award for “Outstanding Choreography” for "Newsies" and is the 2020 nominee for both "Elf" and "Matilda". She was inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame summer, 2019 and is the 2014 recipient of the National Freddy G Award given to outstanding musical theater educators as well as the 2014 Theater Arts Guild Education Award winner. Sue is The Rose Theater’s Resident Choreographer and Director of BROADWAY at The Rose, which includes The Rose Brigade and Dance Lab at The Rose. She is thankful to return to Omaha and continue her professional
career at The Rose Theater near friends and family.

Show Photos