Theater is going virtual to wrap up 2020, which means the best seat in the house is wherever the best seat is in your house.

Area theaters are turning to the oldest form of broadcasting to continue delivering performances to audiences. Rochester Civic Theatre, Commonweal Theatre and La Crosse Community Theatre are all presenting staged radio play performances this holiday season.

The Civic is presenting prerecorded productions of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” Dec. 18, 19 and 20.

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Actors, from left, Rick Van Ert, Andy Ruggeri, Kami Sim, Dan Price, Rene Stiller and Brian Bedard perform while recording The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" directed by Tony Opelt Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Rochester. Ticketed virtual performances of the show will be presented on Friday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Audio and video of the performance was done by Northern Sun Productions. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Actors, from left, Rick Van Ert, Andy Ruggeri, Kami Sim, Dan Price, Rene Stiller and Brian Bedard perform while recording The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" directed by Tony Opelt Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Rochester. Ticketed virtual performances of the show will be presented on Friday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Audio and video of the performance was done by Northern Sun Productions. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)

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A grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act gave the Civic funds to hire Northern Sun Productions to record and produce the show for streaming.

The staged radio play allows actors to see each other and play off their performances, but also keep a safe distance recommended by health officials.

Commonweal will also stream a prerecorded staged radio performance of an original holiday radio play, “A Driftless Christmas.” That will be available on the Commonweal website through Jan. 4.

(Contributed image)
(Contributed image)

La Crosse Community Theatre is presenting a recorded staged performance of the radio broadcast version of "Miracle on 34th Street." That production will be available beginning Dec. 19.

“My overall vision for the show was a bright, colorful light brought into a very dark world,” said Mary Cate Wesling, who directed the show. “The classic film is in black and white, yet the message makes one feel warm and happy inside.”

Misha Johnson, interim managing director at the Rochester Civic Theatre, said they dressed the stage for “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the same reason.

“It should look really nice on camera,” she said.

LCT partnered with La Crosse Local to film the production. The company also added behind-the-scenes looks and interviews with the cast and crew.

Dan Price, who plays George Bailey, performs while recording The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" directed by Tony Opelt Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Rochester. Ticketed virtual performances of the show will be presented on Friday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Audio and video of the performance was done by Northern Sun Productions. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Dan Price, who plays George Bailey, performs while recording The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" directed by Tony Opelt Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Rochester. Ticketed virtual performances of the show will be presented on Friday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Audio and video of the performance was done by Northern Sun Productions. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rick Van Ert, who plays multiple characters, performs while recording The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" directed by Tony Opelt Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Rochester. Ticketed virtual performances of the show will be presented on Friday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Audio and video of the performance was done by Northern Sun Productions. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rick Van Ert, who plays multiple characters, performs while recording The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" directed by Tony Opelt Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Rochester. Ticketed virtual performances of the show will be presented on Friday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Audio and video of the performance was done by Northern Sun Productions. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rick Van Ert, left, and Kami Sim, who both play multiple characters, perform while recording The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" directed by Tony Opelt Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Rochester. Ticketed virtual performances of the show will be presented on Friday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Audio and video of the performance was done by Northern Sun Productions. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Rick Van Ert, left, and Kami Sim, who both play multiple characters, perform while recording The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" directed by Tony Opelt Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Rochester. Ticketed virtual performances of the show will be presented on Friday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Audio and video of the performance was done by Northern Sun Productions. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Dan Price, who plays George Bailey, and Rene Stiller, who plays Mary Hatch, perform while recording The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" directed by Tony Opelt Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Rochester. Ticketed virtual performances of the show will be presented on Friday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Audio and video of the performance was done by Northern Sun Productions. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)
Dan Price, who plays George Bailey, and Rene Stiller, who plays Mary Hatch, perform while recording The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's production of "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" directed by Tony Opelt Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, in Rochester. Ticketed virtual performances of the show will be presented on Friday, Dec. 18, Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Audio and video of the performance was done by Northern Sun Productions. (Joe Ahlquist / jahlquist@postbulletin.com)