Wonderful Life’ takes CHS back to the ’40s


Blot photo by Nora Thomson.

Isabella Antoon

The Drama Club performed the theatrical adaptation of the 1946 film “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Dec. 1 and 2. The play marked the first of two annual productions presented by the club.

The show follows the story of businessman George Bailey as he contemplates suicide. Director and senior Lara Graney of Belmar alongside producer and senior Izzy Cavazzoni of Wall chose the show, along with their assistants, juniors Summer Ward of Oceanport and Kelly Forrester of Spring Lake Heights.

I loved being so immersed and invested in something, I loved the thoughtful questions my actors had, I loved problem solving and interacting with people who have all different sets of skills, like art, and tech, and set,” Graney said.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” starred many students familiar to the CHS stage, as well as several new faces, such as freshman Steve Ostrom of Monmouth Beach. He said his first experience with the club was a positive one.

“CHS Drama is so much more enjoyable than any of my other theater experiences,” Ostrom said. “I think having students direct and produce the entirety of the show really causes the cast to bond more closely.”

Senior Jonathan Slovak of Spring Lake Heights played the lead, George Bailey, in what marked his seventh show for the club.

“It never got boring to play George since he experiences just about every emotion during the play,” Slovak said. “I really enjoyed learning his traits and understanding his motives, as well as spending time with the incredible cast and director.”

Drama Club adviser Bill Bengle worked with students throughout the process to organize and produce the show.

“I’m there to give advice, and to help the production move at the pace that it should,” Bengle said. “I act as the go-between through the directors and the administration to help set things up.”

The Drama Club will be holding auditions for their spring show in the new year, where members of the club will have the opportunity to perform once again.

“This show will always have a place in my heart and I hope to continue performing with the wonderful people that worked so hard to make it come to life,” Ostrom said.