IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE PROFILES: BEN DYCK, LULU STAFFORD, DAVE RIDEOUT, KEARNEY JORDAN

Ben Dyck- Mr. Potter

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What do you think makes It’s a Wonderful Life such an endearing tale?

The themes. The message of hope. This is a time of year that is difficult for many for a number of reasons. This story resonates with those who feel downtrodden during the Holiday Season and offer a message of hope for those in difficult situations.

Who is your favorite character from It’s A Wonderful Life?

I don’t really have one.

Is there somebody in the cast you are looking forward to performing with?

I am most looking forward to performing with my kids! This will be my 6-year-old twins, Owen and Voisie’s first theatrical experience. To be able to share my passion for the theatre with them for the very first time is about as good of a Christmas gift that I could hope for. 

What makes you most excited about being a part of It’s A Wonderful Life?

We have a wonderful cast and crew working on an inspired classic. I am very much looking to working in the format of radio-styled reader’s theatre with such a talented group. The format and venue make this theatrical experience exciting and unique. 

LuLu Stafford- Rose Bailey

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What do you think makes It’s a Wonderful Life such an endearing tale? 

I love this tale, it is my all-time favorite story. It brings hope to those of us who feel George’s despair and anxiety of ones failure in him/herself to struggle through each day. It reminds me that no matter how down hearted I may be, there is someone, somewhere who does actually love and needs me, whether it’s reveled to me or not.

Who is your favorite character from It’s A Wonderful Life

I had the honor of portraying Violet in Riverside Civic Light Opera’s, original musical production of It’s A Wonderful Life. She is a character and fond memory I will treasure in my heart forever! I was given a palatable solo that I sang to George and a heart wrenching  (for Violet ) duet, with Mary, realizing George will “never see me”. Violet is the epitome of my life; I see him, but he doesn’t see me. Her and I are relate-able in unattainable love, the facade of loneliness and the true heart of gold she has. Violet remains, to this day, my favorite character, who, by the way, was played by Gloria Grahame, a favorite actress, in the movie!

Is there somebody in the cast you are looking forward to performing with? 

I am looking forward to presenting this timeless classic with every cast and crew member who is dedicating their time to share this story and keep hope alive.

 What makes you most excited about being a part of It’s A Wonderful Life 

I can’t stress enough how humble and lucky I was to be part of a live stage, original musical, portraying a beloved, relate-able character and often too,  feeling as George felt in his direst moment. Saying yes to this production was a no-brainer.  I feel blessed to share this tale again, that is so dear to my heart! 

Dave Rideout- Joseph

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What do you think makes It’s a Wonderful Life such an endearing tale?

I’d rather not overthink a story that somehow makes me cry even when I read it, but probably because we all have times when we wonder whether the world would even notice if we were gone, and it is such a joyous, vicarious thrill to see that George Bailey had such an impact that we have hope for ourselves.

 Who is your favorite character from It’s A Wonderful Life?

Beyond the major characters, I enjoy Violet’s moments the most.

Is there somebody in the cast you are looking forward to performing with?

I have had great experiences working in the past with most of the adult members of this highly talented cast in the past, except for Michael and Lulu, so I will be looking forward to working with them the most.

 What makes you most excited about being a part of It’s A Wonderful Life

I am most excited about working with Lenny Bart for the first time, and to see whether performing it in front of an audience makes me cry.

Kearney Jordan- Violet

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So what do I think makes It’s a Wonderful Life such an endearing Tale?

It reminds us that we all matter, and that we all have value and the ability to impact the lives of others.   I think it speaks to the importance of community and supporting one another. 

Who is my favorite character?

I have a soft spot for Mr.Gower, the Drug store owner that George works for as a boy.  To me he signifies redemption and true gratitude.  His loyalty to George is lifelong.  He shows that we are not wholly defined by our worst moment, and even from the darkest place it is possible to find purpose and hope.

Who am I looking forward to performing with?

Goodness yes!  Michael Hynes, whom I last performed with 20 years ago, and Ben Dyck, who I have known for 20 years and have never performed with! Also the dear Lulu Stafford and my coworker, Chris Taylor, who are both also new to the production this year.  Seriously this is such a great, talented cast!

What makes me excited about being part of It’s a Wonderful Life?

I’m beyond fortunate to be spending this special time of year surrounded by my family and friends, doing what we love and sharing it with our community- creating memories many will cherish for years to come. 

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