LAKESHORE REGIONAL NEWS: Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, and Sheboygan County


Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Extra! Here’s to Mary Hatch

Critic At Large

Of 'It's a Wonderful Life'

Movie poster.


Some people just are.

Take Mary Hatch.

Mary Hatch grew up in Bedford Falls, a small town in the niche of imaginations.

She was like any other person, but not.

Out of her loop of the youngsters around her age, she envisioned a future with one.

The other person did not know that.

Evergreen Productions, 2018

Mary Hatch latched on to a possibility.

Mary Hatch went away to college.

She came back, and her vision was unchanged.

Mary Hatch envisioned George Bailey in her life.

Sheboygan Theatre Company, 2019

A chord that struck with Mary Hatch was a person with spark who saw a Big Picture.

George Bailey was a person of vision, too

Mary Hatch gave George Bailey nudges.

One caused George Bailey to embrace a kinship with Mary Hatch.

From there, the vision of Mary Hatch looked beyond the moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.

The vision was on a rock she threw at a window in a dilapidated house.

She would one day share that house with the person of her vision.

She would be Mary Bailey.

Mary Bailey was a continuation of her vision as Mary Hatch.

Some people just are.

Mary Bailey would stick to her vision and those of George Bailey through mighty tests.

On the cusp of losing all, Mary Bailey would sacrifice the money for a honeymoon.

When George Bailey would teeter, Mary Bailey would totter and bring balance.

At George Bailey’s worst…

It really was worst: Shouting with meanness at his children, ready to jump off a bridge in the belief that he was worth more dead than alive and wishing he had never been born.

… Mary Bailey tottered toward balance.

All this is the story of “It’s a Wonderful Life” that so many people know from the movie that means “Christmas” and “perspective” to them.

The Masquers, Inc., 2018

In recent years, “real” George Baileys and Mary Baileys came to life in four community productions in Northeastern Wisconsin by way of the illusion of theater.

The story seems to be about George Bailey because so much turns around him.

But is it about a person of greater vision?

Here’s to Mary Hatch.


Portraying Mary Hatch Bailey in area: Hannah K. Blecha (no photo available), The Green Room Players, De Pere, 2017; Emily Guillemette, The Masquers, Inc., Manitowoc, 2018; Katie Schroeder, Evergreen Productions, greater Green Bay; 2018; Mary Luke, Sheboygan Theatre Company, Sheboygan, 2019.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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