Iowa PBS presents It’s a Wonderful Life The Radio Play

This program has been canceled. 

Iowa PBS will present an exclusive live broadcast of It’s a Wonderful Life The Radio Play, produced through a partnership with the Iowa Stage Theatere Company. The program will premiere live on December 19 at 7 p.m. on statewide Iowa PBS, with repeat broadcasts on December 20 at 2 p.m. and December 24 at 8 p.m.

A theater adaptation by Joe Landry, this beloved holiday classic will captivate viewers as a 1940s era radio broadcast. Using a wide range of voices, accents and expressions, each actor will portray multiple characters. It’s a Wonderful Life The Radio Play will be performed live from the Maytag Auditorium at Iowa PBS in Johnston, Iowa.

It’s a Wonderful Life The Radio Play is our first partnership with the Iowa Stage Theater Company,” said Iowa PBS Senior Producer Andrea Coyle. “We are excited for Iowans to experience this traditional Christmas story in a whole new way.”

This production reimagines the cinematic classic by staging the story as if it were a live radio broadcast. An ensemble of five actors and one sound effects artist gives life to a few dozen characters on stage, sharing the story of idealistic George Bailey as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve.

“While the arts are not pandemic relief, they provide us essential relief from the pandemic,” said Iowa Stage Theatre Company Artistic Director Matthew McIver. “This production of a holiday classic provides a heartwarming reminder of the value of community in troubled times.”

Funding for the program is provided by Iles Funeral Homes.

In addition to its statewide broadcast, Iowa PBS .1 is available to livestream on,, the PBS Video App and YouTube TV. Iowa PBS programs, behind-the-scenes extras and more can be enjoyed on, Facebook and YouTube. Viewers can also stream their favorite shows on demand using the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android and many streaming devices.