The Fairfield Ludlowe High School Drama Club this week presents a stage adaptation of the holiday classic film, "It's a Wonderful Life."

Three performances will be staged at the Unquowa Road school: at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, and at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3. General-admission tickets are $8 and will be on sale at the door.

Frank Capra's 1946 film starred Jimmy Stewart as a small-town businessman who, because of misplaced money, contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve. But a guardian angel helps him realize the value of his life.

The stage adaptation was written by Joe Landry, a former student of Ludlowe drama director Frances R. Kondziela, according to a new release.

Its seed for the adaptation was planted two years ago when Kondzeila told Landry she wanted to present a stage version of the story, but had discovered no script existed, according to the release.

Landry scripted the stage play, based on the Philip Van Doren Stern screenplay, which itself had been based on Stern's book "The Greatest Gift." Landry's adaptation has been performed nationally, according to the news release, and is scheduled to open in December at New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre.

The play is set in Bedford Falls, a small New England town on Christmas Eve, 1945.

George Bailey -- the distraught businessman, played by senior Steve Autore in the Ludlowe production -- stands on a bridge, contemplating jumping in.

Meanwhile his family and friends pray for him. They include his wife Mary (Miriam Goldfield), his brother Harry (Will Burns), his mother Rose (Tricia Sorresso), his Uncle Billy (James Purcell), and his children (Sara Goldring and Robert Gigliotti) and friends Violet (Cassie Carroll), Gower (Adrian Tudor), Bert (Will Powers) and Ruth (Tessa Duke).

Prayers are heard by George's late father, Peter (Grey Walker), and George's guardian angel, Clarence (Amir Naeem). Clarence helps George realize the value of his life and overcome his troubles -- which were caused by the greedy and dishonest Henry F. Potter (Brett Leiter) and Sadie Vance (Heather Hayes).

The moral of the play, according to the release, is that no man who has friends is a failure, and it illustrates how one life affects many others and that every life is important.

The American Film Institute named "It's a Wonderful Life" America's most inspirational movie.

Kondziela is the show's artistic director, Roger Mudr is the set director, lighting supervisors are Connor Simcox and Morgan Moore and costume advisor is Sonia Otharsson.

Other main contributors include sound designer Sam Eckhardt, props supervisor Jennifer Laponte, house manager Carolyn Sohmer, poster director Joe Landry, photographers Heather Hayes and Jowena Cheng, and make up supervisors Sofia Bonin and Ryann Casey.

Tickets for "It's a Wonderful Life" at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, 785 Unquowa Road, cost $8 and will be available at the door. For more information or reservations, call 203-5-7201 or email: