John Wolbers | St. Louis Public Radio

John Wolbers

John Wolbers' adaptation of "It's a Wonderful Life" for Metro Theater Company is set at a fictional 1949 St. Louis radio station.
Jennifer Lin

Metro Theater Company’s Julia Flood was looking for a classic holiday show this fall — one that would also speak to Metro’s mission as a theater company inspired by the intelligence and emotional wisdom of young people. Her colleague John Wolbers’ fresh take on the story of George Bailey and the town of Bedford Falls aspires to fit the bill.

Set at a fictional St. Louis radio station 70 years ago and framed as a radio play within a play, the local playwright’s retelling of “It’s a Wonderful Life” aims to build a generational bridge. The 50-minute production opens this Sunday at the Grandel, with the cast introducing younger theatergoers — and audiences of all ages — to the golden age of radio as well as a long-beloved tale.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Wolbers joined host Sarah Fenske to talk about his adaptation ahead of its opening matinee (performances run Nov. 17 through Dec. 15). Also joining the broadcast were cast members Alicia Revé Like, Abraham Shaw and Chris E. Ware. The trio presented a scene from the play during the talk show, complete with Foley sound artistry.