Reitz Theatre Players Look to Raise Funds for Jimmy Stewart Museum

(GantDaily Graphic)

DUBOISMembers of the Reitz Theater Players, a part of CRI in DuBois, are going to bat to assist an Indiana County museum created in tribute to legendary Western Pennsylvania film star Jimmy Stewart. The RTP will present their production of “Its a Wonderful Life” Dec. 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 5 at 2 p.m.  Cast and Crew members will ask for those in attendance to make a donation at the end of each show that will go to the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, PA. 

Several cast members were planning a tour to the museum, for inspiration as they plan their production of their version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and they spoke of a television news story that cited that the museum was in need of financial support.  They approached Director Steve Frederick who supported the idea of doing what they could to support the museum. 

Stewart’s name is synonomous with the Frank Capra holiday favorite, beloved by so many generations. “Many great actors were in the 1946 favorite,” one of the actors said, “but you can’t help remembering Stewart’s performance. To not help keep this museum going to honor a great actor, and an exemplary military man would be a dishonor to all that he’s done.” 

Stewart appeared in 92 films, television programs and shorts in seven decades, winning an Academy Award for Best Actor in the 1941 film, The Philadelphia Story. Stewart also named by the American Film Institute as the third greatest Male Star of All Time. 

As a fighter pilot, Stewart was the first American movie star to wear a military uniform in World War II. He twice received the Distinguished Flying Cross for actions in combat, and was one of very few Americans to rise from private to colonel in four years. He retired as a Brigadier General after 27 years of service in 1968.

A large basket will be placed for donations after the show, and theater goers will be encouraged to help “George” once again, by making a donation to the struggling museum.

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