Merry Christmas, George Bailey! — A Staged Radio Play

A Staged Radio Play by Shirlee H. Shields

Based on the classic movie, “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE” (written by Francis Goodrich, Albert Hackett & Frank Capra)

(For production by Professional, Amateur, Educational, College/University, High School groups)

Adult and Family Audiences

This version of the popular and familiar film story is a fully staged radio play set as if in a radio studio in the 1940s. The battle for Bedford Falls, New York,  is on as George Bailey, hometown boy, combats the miserly Mr. Potter, with the help of his family, friends and an angel 2nd class named Clarence, with little help from Uncle Billy. All the familiar story elements are there but the charming setting in a radio studio give a special edge of performance charm. The perfect Christmas production for any theatre group. What a great hook-up with a local station! Get a local station to broadcast the play over the radio. The licensing of the play doesn’t require the broadcasting of the performance, it is merely a very intriguing option. The radio station just needs to give full credit to the author and publisher for making it possible.


  • One Interior with props
  • Period Costumes: 1919-1940s
  • [30M 14W 3Tb 1Tg 4B 2G] can be doubled to 24 performers, if all roles are played by older teens and adults
  • About 2 hours
  • Order # 3074

Available  for ALL producing groups.


“This [script] reads really great! There are a few other versions out there but I really think this one beats them all.” — John Walker, Franciscan University Theatre Department


  • The PERUSAL PAGES file for Merry Christmas, George Bailey is available by clicking MerryChristmasGeorgeBaileyPERUSAL The PDF file is the first half of the play and contains all other pertinent information about the play.
  • EMAIL us for rights and information. Be sure to give us anticipated performance dates and the address of your group and, if different, your theatre. Please also include a contact name and phone number.


(Any PDF purchased will be emailed to your email address — if you need to provide that to us (not the one on your PayPal account?), email us. CDs will be mailed to a snail mail address. Do not purchase rehearsal materials or pay for royalties until you have performance clearance.)

  • Script in PDF format — Order #3074a : $25.00 (from which you will be authorized to copy for your production)

  • First Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3074d : $100

  • Second Performance Amateur/Educational Royalty — Order #3074e : $100

  • Professional Royalties will be quoted upon application
  • Sound Effects CD — Order #3074k : $30.00 (includes shipping charges) This CD was prepared by KUER at the University of Utah for the original production and is available for the fee stated above.


  • Center Stage Clovis — November-December 2021
  • Howard College Theatre — November-December 2021
  • Hendricks Civic Theatre, December 2019
  • Franciscan University Theatre, Steubenville, Ohio — November 2017
  • Abbey Players Theatre, Abbeville, Louisiana — 2015
  • Babcock Performing Readers, University of Utah — 2015
  • Echo Players, BC, Canada — 2015
  • Babcock Performing Readers, University of Utah — 2014 (Gee, looks like a tradition, huh?)
  • Babcock Performing Readers, University of Utah — 2013
  • Babcock Performing Readers, University of Utah — 2012
  • Babcock Performing Readers, University of Utah — 2007
  • Babcock Performing Readers, University of Utah — 2005
  • Babcock Performing Readers, University of Utah — 2003
  • PREMIERE at Babcock Performing Readers, University of Utah — 2001


The following is how the credits should read in all programs, posters, fliers, handbills and other promotional advertising for the show:

Merry Christmas, George Bailey!

A Staged Radio Play

based on the classic movie “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”
by Francis Goodrich, Albert Hackett and Frank Capra

Adaptation by
Shirlee H. Shields

NOTE: The names of the Playwright(s), Composer, Lyricist, and Bookwriter shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness, and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the Authors except for the title of the play. (In a press release all type, will of course, be the same size.)


Merry Christmas, George Bailey!” is presented through special arrangement with Leicester Bay Theatricals.  All authorized materials are also supplied by LBT,”

From the Catalog of