Liz Kelly  (Stage Manager) is a southeast Nebraska native, though she has spent the last 15 years elsewhere.  While studying math and physics at Morningside College, she was active in theatre, including acting roles in The Mandrake, Antigone, and Dancing at Lughnasa (where she played the matriarch of a dysfunctional Irish family, her favorite role to date), and various tech positions including props/backstage manager for Butterflies are Free.  After venturing west, she was part of Cheyenne Little Theatre Players, acting in On Golden Pond and James and the Giant Peach, and assistant directing I Hate Hamlet.  Most recently, she played Margie in BVT's adaptation of A Resurrection.  Liz works in chemistry at Cooper Nuclear Station.  

Liston Crotty (Young Mary, Janie Bailey) lives in Auburn, NE where she attends Calvert Elementary School.  She participated in the BVT Young Performers Workshop in 2018 and is very excited to be a part of this production.  In addition to theatre, other activities Liston enjoys include soccer and band.  

Paulina Flatt (Zuzu Bailey) was born in Bangkok, Thailand where she lived for two years.  She has since lived in Illinois, Colorado, and Nebraska. Currently she attends Calvert Elementary in Auburn, NE.  Paulina participates in soccer, band, choir, and theater. Previously she has appeared in the Youth Actors Academy of Lincoln production of William Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night's Dream” in 2017.  Paulina performed the role of Carrie Masters in the 2018 Brownville Village Theatre's production “A Resurrection”. She also attended the Young Performers Workshop at the Brownville Village Theatre in 2018.

Xavier Carr (Freddy Filmore, Joseph and Others) has been a member of the arts since high school, primarily as a singer. In 2008, he tried acting for the first time at Peru State College and fell in love with. In 2012, he expanded his horizons and became an actor at the Brownville Village Theatre, where he later was a part of for four seasons, and counting. Since 2008, he has been in various shows such as Pippin, Godspell, Next To Normal, Big River, Perfect Wedding, Once on This Island, A Resurrection and many others. He says he is truly blessed to be a part of the Christmas show at the Brownville Village Theatre this year.  It truly is a wonderful life!

Gillian Hanna (Young Violet) is excited to be in her first role.  She is a fourth grader at Calvert Elementary where she is an “A” student and member of the choir.  Gillian hopes to continue to pursue her love of theatre in the future.  

Lisa Smith (Rose Bailey and Others) lives in Auburn, Nebraska.  She is the mother of four and the grandmother of five.  She was last seen in BVT’s production of A Resurrectionboth in 2018 and 2017.  She enjoyed her time at BVT so much that she once again stepped out of her comfort zone to audition for a role in It’s a Wonderful Life.  She is thrilled to be part of this cast in this ground-breaking production at BVT. This year has brought her many challenges but has allowed her to not only find her strength but also her faith. Her family and friends mean the world to her.  Her Christmas wish for all is to embrace the magnificent joy that the season brings because it truly is a WONDERFUL life.  

Rachel Curtiss (Mary Hatch, Artistic Director) has been involved with BVT since 2012, first as a company member, then as props supervisor, director, and associate artistic director last summer.  She graduated from Wichita State University with her BFA in theatre performance in 2013.  She lived in Chicago for three years; while she was there she worked with Edge of the Wood Theatre.   Some recent acting credits include M'Lynn in Steel Magnolias (BVT), Cassie in Neil Simon's Rumors (BVT), and Nina in The Seagull (Edge of the Wood Theatre).  She is so happy to share the artistic director position with her husband and can’t wait for what the future holds for BVT.

It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play

 Cast and Crew

Nash Crotty (Young Harry, Pete Bailey) lives in Auburn, NE where he attends Calvert Elementary School.  He also participated in the BVT Young Performers Workshop in 2018. He loves the performing arts and is excited to be a part of this play.  Nash also enjoys playing soccer and basketball.  

Paul Shaw (Clarence and Others) graduated as a Theatre Major at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska and is thrilled to return to BVT in this holiday classic. Most recently he played Brendan, the bar keeper, in Flatwater Shakespeare’s production of The Weir. At Doane he appeared in Mother Courage and Her Children, The Drowsy Chaperone, American Idiot, and Assassins. As a four year BVT Company Members, he has appeared as Reverend Mervin Oglethorpe in Smoke on the Mountain and Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming, Jinx in Forever Plaid, the title role in Snoopy, and many more.  

Gavin Moyer (Young George, Tommy Bailey) is 8 years old and is a 3rd grader at Calvert elementary school in Auburn. He is excited to be returning to the Brownville Village Theater's stage having previously played "Bobby Dempster" in the 2017 and 2018 performances of "A Ressurection". Gavin has had a role as an extra and has participated behind the scenes of several PSA's sponsored by Nemaha County Community Health Partners. He has also attended several acting camps, including camps at the Omaha Rose Children's Theater, and a camp last spring at the BVT.

Fred Vogel (Harry Bailey, Assistant Director, Light and Sound Designer) is thrilled to be apart of tonight's performance, as the 1946 film is one of his all-time favorites.  During his time as a BVT company member, Fred has appeared in such shows as Godspell, Forever Plaid, Arsenic and Old Lace, Rumors, A Year With Frog and Toad, and The Tell-Tale Farce, as well as the off-season production of Willa Cather's A Resurrection.  Outside of Brownville, Fred has appeared in such productions as The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at The STAGE Theater, Mr. Popper's Penguins at the Lincoln Community Playhouse, and is currently the assistant director for Youth Actors Academy of Lincoln's production of The Sound of Music.  "Remember, no man is a failure who has friends."

Sara Scheidies (Violet Bick, Costumer, Scenic Painter)  feels so blessed to once again be at home on BVT's stage telling the beautiful story of "It's a Wonderful Life" this Christmas season. Sara has been a company member at BVT for the last four summers, and has also worked backstage on Willa Cather's "A Resurrection" for two years. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in Theatre from Doane University and hopes to continue making friends and memories through the magic of theatre. She would especially like to thank her parents, Tim and Lisa, as well as her boyfriend Tom for their neverending love and support.

Mark Caspers (Henry Potter and Others) is the fourth generation in his family to farm in Nemaha County, Nebraska.  He holds his MS in Agribusiness from the University of Nebraska Lincoln.  Mark resides at "Happy Valley Bachelor's Quarters" in Benton Township, Nemaha County, Nebraska.  You may remember seeing him in BVT’s production of A Resurrectionin 2017 and 2018 as Leonard Birch.  

Mitch Bean (George Baily, Artistic Director) is a graduate of Central College and holds his Bachelor’s in music and theatre.  Mitch recently moved from Chicago to Omaha with his fiancée and co-artistic director, Rachel Curtiss.  Both have been working hard to continue BVT's long tradition of summer repertory as well as on many off-season BVT sponsored events including Willa Cather’s A Resurrection, The RiverInn’s production of Murder on the Missouri, and a youth workshop and now It's a Wonderful Life.  Mitch’s past BVT directing credits include Steel Magnolias, The Tell-Tell Farce, Maybe Baby, It's You, The Game’s Afoot, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Oh, Fudge!, and The Tender Trap.  His BVT acting credits include Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad, Charlie Brown in Snoopy!!, Glenn in Rumors, Frankie in Forever Plaid and Jesus in Godspell. 

 Harley Jones (Tech Crew) is from St. Joseph, Missouri.  His past theatre experience includes being a stagehand and light/sound board operator at the Missouri Theatre and Civic Arena from 1980-1986.  In addition, he worked for two years at the Icehouse Theatre.  He ran lights/ sound for Willa Cather’s A Resurrectionhere at BVT.

 Colleen Volkmer (Props), a resident of Brownville for twelve years, previously lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota for fifteen years.  While there, she enjoyed theatre both as an audience member and a participant.  Colleen was a board member of the Phoenix Playhouse as well as the stage manager for their production of "The Rocky Horror Show".  She has also stage managed "Ten Little Indians" and "Waiting for Godot" for other production companies.  She has had various roles in other productions including a stage manager, a (silent) countess, and dual parts in the same show as the "other woman" and foreign spy.  Locals may be more familiar with her as one of the witches of Indian Cave's Haunted Hallow and  Mrs. Skimmons in BVT's production of Willa Cather's A Resurrection.  

 Andrew Smith (Light/ Sound Board Operator) is a full-time student at Peru State College where he will graduate in May 2019 with his Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design.  After a brief tenure with BVT as a child, Andrew fell in love with the nuances and joys of the performing arts.  Being honored with and accepting the opportunity to provide his own technical skills as the light and sound board operator for the 2017 production of A Resurrection, Andrew once again joins the crew for their rendition of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.