fancy-membership fancy-stage fancy-tickets location up phone email facebook twitter avatar

It's A Wonderful Life

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

Witness this beautiful homage to a cinematic classic, made specifically for our time. Meet George Bailey, whose teenage guardian angel has to descend on Christmas Eve to save him from despair. Sometimes it takes seeing things from the perspective of a young person to realize that it is 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. 3 - 19, 2021
  • Appropriate Ages All Audiences
  • Duration 75 minutes
  • Ticket Price Single Tickets on sale August 1, 2017

PLEASE NOTE: To protect all of our audience members, including young theatergoers who cannot yet be vaccinated, masks are required inside The Rose Theater, including inside the auditorium during mainstage performances, regardless of vaccination status.

Show Program:

Cast

  • Actor 1 (Clarence) – Wayne Dexter Hudson II
  • Actor 2 (Joseph) – Summer Hurtienne
  • Actor 3 (George Bailey) – Marcel Daly
  • Actor 4 (Peter/Mary) – Delaney Jackson
  • Actor 5 (Billy/Harry) – Zhomontee Shanice Watson
  • Actor 6 (Potter/Burt/Others) – Matthew R. Olsen
  • Actor 7 (Violet/Ruth/Others) – Natalie Hanson
  • Actor 8 (Sam/Ernie/Others) – Prentiss Matthews III
  • Actor 9 (Janie/others) – Sophia Presser
  • Actor 10 (Zuzu/others) – Ella Stowell

Artistic/Production Credits

  • Director – Sarah Lynn Brown
  • Assistant Director/Education Representative – Alease Timbers
  • Music Director – Jerry Brabec
  • Choreographer – Sue Gillespie Booton
  • Stage Manager – Lisa Krabbenhoft
  • Run Crew – Jessica Burrill Logue
  • 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 – Sarah Buck
  • Technical Director & Master Carpenter – Jackson Curtright
  • Props Mistress – Devon Denn-Young
  • Scenic Charge Artist – Savannah Savick
  • Scenic Charge Artist – Trent Grooms
  • Swing Tech – Jesse Groff
  • Swing Tech – Jeff Ludwig
  • Lighting & Production Apprentice & Audio Engineer (A1) – Angel Hernandez
  • Stitchers – Sherri Geerdes, Zach Kloppenborg, Audio Helkuik
  • Fight Choreographer – Matthew R. Olsen
  • Composer: “Joy” – Marcel Daly
Wayne Dexter Hudson II

Wayne Dexter Hudson II

Actor 1 (Clarence) –

Wayne Hudson II is happy to reprise the role of Clarence for the 2021 production of It's A Wonderful Life! He's happy to be back home after graduating from Millard North High School in May this year; currently he's studying at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for a BFA in Theatre Performance. After school he plans to move to Chicago to begin his career as a working professional theater maker. Wayne is no stranger to the Rose stage, having previously appeared as Oscar Delancey in "Newsies", Ralph Herdman in "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever", Pig in "Shrek the Musical", and George in "Sherlock Holmes and the First Baker Street Irregular". A proud Rose kid, Wayne performed in Rose Brigade in 2017, has taken many summer camps and classes. He is also an alumni of the Nebraska High School Theater Academy, having won "Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Supporting Role" in 2019 and selected as a finalist for "Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Lead Role" in both 2020 and 2021.

Summer Hurtienne

Summer Hurtienne

Actor 2 (Joseph) –

Summer is excited to be in It’s a Wonderful Life as Joseph! Summer made her debut on The Rose's mainstage in 2019 as Hortensia in Matilda The Musical, and was recently Jay in Disney’s Descendants. Originally from Elk Grove, California, she starred in her first role in Toby Johnson Middle School's production of James and the Giant Peach, Jr. (2017). After moving to Omaha, she has been a part of plays at Elkhorn Valley View Middle School and Elkhorn South High School. When not on stage, Summer loves reading books like Wildwood, listening to Will Wood, and playing video games on her Nintendo Switch. She can also be found in your local Barnes and Noble.

Marcel Daly

Marcel Daly

Actor 3 (George Bailey) –

Marcel Daly is an artist and actor originally from Bellevue, Nebraska. He started performing at a young age in elementary school singing at talent shows and always watched Michael Jackson videos at home, also picking up theatre and saxophone through high school. After graduating from Bellevue West high school, he attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha, graduating in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance with a focus on musical theatre. During and after graduation, Marcel has had much success as a performer and artist on the stage across the US and internationally. Marcel is thrilled to return to this role, filling in the shoes for George Bailey once again. Off the stage, Marcel teaches voice lessons, leads workshops, helping students who strive to pursue a career in the arts. His lifelong goal is to continue to perform worldwide as an established artist as well as work more as a composer, playwright, producer and arranger.

Delaney Jackson

Delaney Jackson

Actor 4 (Peter/Mary) –

Delaney Jackson is an actor, director, and teaching artist based in Omaha, NE. She is thrilled to be returning to the roles of Mary and Peter Bailey for It’s a Wonderful Life. Delaney received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2020 where she performed in several productions including The Clearing as Killaine Farrell, Dogfight as Marcy, and The Harvester in Little Wars. More recent credits include Richard and Others in the BLUEBARN’s R33 and Athena in Ollie Webb’s Dionysia: Three Greek Myths.

Zhomontee Shanice Watson

Zhomontee Shanice Watson

Actor 5 (Billy/Harry) –

Zhomontee Watson is an established actress, singer, and fu mental health therapist. You may recognize Zhomontee from a recent Rose production of The Descendants as Cruella and Belle, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive The bus in her role of the Little old lady. Zhomontee was also played Deloris Van Catier in Sister at at the Omaha Community Playhouse, Medda Larkin in Newsies at the Rose, and Uncle Billy in Th Rose's porcustionof It's a Wonderful Life. Zhomontee has recieved multiple awards to include an OEAA for Best female actress in a Musical in 2017.

Matthew R. Olsen

Matthew R. Olsen

Actor 6 (Potter/Burt/Others) –

Thrilled to bring this story to life one more time! Previous Rose credits include Corduroy, Howie D: Back in the Day!, and It’s a Wonderful Life. 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, facilitator, movement/fight coordinator based in Omaha. He holds a BFA from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and an MFA from Florida State University—Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. You can also catch him roasting coffee up the street at Bad Seed Coffee & Supply! Much love and thanks to my family! (theatrical & biological)

Natalie Hanson

Natalie Hanson

Actor 7 (Violet/Ruth/Others) –

Natalie is a Chicago and Omaha based performer from Seattle. She was last seen as Audrey in Disney’s Descendants, Pollyanna D. in the world premier of Howie D: Back in the Day, Duckling/Puppy/Ensemble in Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, all with the Rose Theatre. Other noted Omaha credits include Peter Pan (Tigerlily) and Newsies! (Tommyboy) with the Rose Theatre, and Heathers the Musical (ensemble) with the BlueBarn Theatre. While in Chicago, she was last seen in Hope: Part 2 of a Mexican Trilogy (Betty U/S) with Teatro Vista Theatre. Natalie is an alternative musician and producer under the artist name Facade Queen. She was recently nominated for the OEAA award for “Best New Artist.” Natalie has also produced a collaborative EP Sigh,Sigh, Kiss! with her sister, Emilie and their duo "Court the Muse" in the winter of 2020. Other local collaborations include work with TBD Dance Collective where she choreographed, directed, and produced a dance piece to an original song for TBD Dance Collective's Making Space 2020 virtual event. Coming up next, Natalie will be creating a collaborative performance art piece through Amplify Arts to be performed in early March. To keep up with her artistic endeavors, Natalie’s instagram is @facadequeen. Thanks to Mom, Dad, Andrew and Em for lifting me up always.

Prentiss Matthews III

Prentiss Matthews III

Actor 8 (Sam/Ernie/Others) –

Prentiss is a Georgia native. Who earned a BFA in Theatre from Valdosta State University in May of 2020. He is a Theatre Artist specializing in acting, playwrighting, singing, directing, and being a teaching artist. As an artist, he strives to create works that have a powerful message that touches on themes of social change, LGBTQ+ representation, and Blackness. Prentiss plans to continue cultivating his skills, expanding his career opportunities, and learning to find joy in every circumstance.

Sophia Presser

Sophia Presser

Actor 9 (Janie/others) –

Sophia (she/they) is excited to return to the Rose stage for It’s a Wonderful Life. They were most recently seen in the Rose’s production of Disney’s Descendants as a member of the ensemble. Previously, Sophia was a part of The World Goes ‘Round and Chicago High School Edition at Mercy High School where she is currently a junior. They are a student actor at the Rose and participated in Senior Rose Brigade in the past. Besides theater, she loves tap dance, being a teaching assistant, and graphic design. Happy Holidays!

Ella Stowell

Ella Stowell

Actor 10 (Zuzu/others) –

Ella Stowell is ready for her Rose Theater debut! Ella is a 6th grader and attends Papillion La Vista Community Schools. She has been taking acting camps and classes at The Rose since kindergarten, as well as acting and singing with PLAN since she was six. She was recently cast as Alice Wendelken in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Bellevue Little Theater. Ella is in her 5th year of baton and pom with the Stepper-ettes. She is a member of many activities at her school including student council, band, and Battle of the Books. In her spare time, she enjoys playing video games, hanging out with friends, reading, and playing with her dogs.

Sarah Lynn Brown

Sarah Lynn Brown

Director -

Sarah Lynn Brown (she/hers) has worked in Omaha as a director, actor, adaptor, and educator for the past 20 years, where she has facilitated countless productions and theatre education programs. She is currently on the Nebraska Arts Council Artist Roster as a Gender Performance and Theatre Adapting educator and a contract facilitator for WhyArts and Inclusive Communities.

Additionally, Sarah has worked for Utah Shakespeare, Folger Library Theatre, BlueBarn Theatre, Nebraska Shakespeare, NTC productions, Omaha Performing Arts, Omaha Symphony, Opera Omaha, Denizen Theatre (NY), University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Creighton University. Currently, Sarah creates and teaches from a shared studio: Leavenworth Space in Omaha Nebraska. She has a Masters of Arts in Theatre Education from the University of Northern Colorado and a BA from UNO. She is thrilled to be working on this magical show again this year.

Alease Timbers

Alease Timbers

Assistant Director & Education Representative -

Alease is excited for this to be her MainStage Directing Debut at the Rose Theater. Alease has taught, choreographed and directed for the Cumberland County School District, Fayetteville State University, Temple Theatre in Sanford NC, Bristol Valley Theatre in Naples NY, and Camp Lohikan in Lake Como PA. Some of her favorite works include directing Emma: A Pop Musical (Temple Theatre), Sherlock Holmes and the First Baker Street Irregulars (an Omaha Theater Company Youth Production) and assisting with YGB "Young Gifted and Black" (TNT Omaha Theater Company).

Jerry Brabec

Jerry Brabec

Music Director -

Jerry Brabec, tenor, is an Ordained Deacon on the clergy staff at Omaha Saint 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 Theater for Performing Arts the past thirteen seasons, “It’s a Wonderful Life” marks his 48th show as a resident 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.

PHOTO CREDIT: Dana Rose