An abridged, twisty retelling of 'It's A Wonderful Life.' Satan is at their lowest point when met by a demon named Clarence, looking to help Satan regain their confidence while also earning Clarence their horns in the process. A budding friendship forms between the two with the balance of power taking unexpected turns.

Satan - Any gender, any age, any race / ethnicity

Clarence - Any gender, any age, any race / ethnicity

Party Person/Beach Person/Scientist/Young Satan - Any gender, any age, any race / ethnicity

(Rover Dramawerks, TX - 2020)
(The Funhouse Family, WA - 2020)
(Out Of Box Theatre, GA - 2019)
“This diabolical little parody is the perfect antidote to an overdose of a certain classic holiday movie. Satan has had it with a world that insists on celebrating the birth of his archenemy and needs a demon named Clarence to buck him up by reminding him of all his inglorious achievements. Clarence is, of course, attempting to win his horns and in the end gets what’s coming to him. Nicely done. The satire is priceless. It must be great fun to produce.”
(Donald E. Baker)
“Everyone can have a bad day and so does Satan in this refreshing and delightful by Mabey. Most of us are filled with self-doubt at some point in our lives and it's funny to see Satan filled with it to the point of ending their existence. Well done.”
(Lee R. Lawing)
“A Uniquely conceptualized comedic masterpiece! Molds Satan into a 3-Dimensional character with an emotional depth; yet retaining his disturbing qualities and persona. The gold in the created space to allow for present-day earthly wrongdoings to be caused by this Satan; Brilliant!”
(Lillie Vaks)
“Just because you know the story it’s telling doesn’t mean you know where it’s going to go or how it’s going to get there. Indeed, the play follows a diabolical little path! Equally funny, sharp, and ultimately disturbing, this SATAN is a satire that's timely and (sadly, probably) eternal. Satan and Clarence are terrific roles for actors with a subtle comic flair. An ambitious short play festival can have a lot of fun with costumes and makeup. It's a fun take on a holiday favorite that leaves you wincing through your smile.”
(Scott Sickles)
“A jaunty, cheerful reminder that evil's everywhere in the world, even if Satan's not feeling as malignant as he might. Thank goodness for the relentless Clarence to remind Satan of just how bad life really is. The final twist is a delight. C'mon, someone stage this for the coming Christmas season!”
(Toby Malone)
“This was wickedly delightful! I can imagine all the fun costume changes for the multiple characters. But the sincerity in which Satan speaks is where the comedy truly lies. A great alternate holiday program! I'm still smiling!”
(Jacquelyn Floyd-Priskorn)

“I love a good play about Satan! (I feel like I should rephrase that, but I'm going to press on instead:) What really makes this short "It's a Wonderful Life" parody work so well is all the little details, which are so specific and so funny. I was laughing to myself as I read all the terrible things - past and future - that are Satan's doing. It's loads of fun watching Clarence help Satan get his groove back.”
(Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend)

“Charming dark comedy spoofing "It's a Wonderful Life" and giving us a new window onto the Lord of Darkness, who's having self-esteem problems. Great holiday fun!”
(Jennifer O'Grady)

“Now here's a holiday play we didn't know we needed! So many great one-liners in this...and actually a feel good piece...I mean, if Satan sometimes has doubts of their own effectiveness...! This is the wicked twist on Christmas!”
(Jacquelyn Floyd-Priskorn)

“Everyone wants to feel that their work matters…even Satan. A darkly clever humorous take on a classic tale where George Bailey is replaced by the Prince of Darkness and Clarence is a demon trying to earn his horns. A fun show for any Christmas fest, especially ones that aren’t worried about getting a lump of coal in their stocking. Well done!”
(Steven Hayet)

“As someone who was never a fan of It's a Wonderful Life, I'm delighted that John Mabey wrote this play to reestablish order in the universe. That old red devil Satan is feeling blue. Never fear, because the demon Clarence is there to earn his horns by helping Satan. Or maybe be very afraid. The twists and turns are a big part of the fun. Turns out that Mabey is a sly devil!”
(Peter Dakutis)

“I produced an audio version of this play on my radio theater podcast Gather by the Ghost Light. John Mabey has constructed a hilarious take on the classic holiday film "It's a Wonderful Life" showing that even the most eviliest of the evil get depressed sometimes. Wonderfully written piece!”
(Jonathan Cook)

“"Oh, I love a good flash back when I'm in it." Just one great line in a fun and dark retelling of It's A Wonderful Life. Here John flips the roles, from good to really really bad and the results are hilarious. Treat yourself by listening to a wonderful recording on the Gather by the Ghost Light podcast.
Love it!”
(Christopher Plumridge)

“ So funny! It takes all the tropes and just turns them on their head. And the ending is delicious! Would slay at a Halloween festival! ”
(Kate Danley)
“ What was once saccharine is now salty (very salty) in this deliriously funny parody of a certain holiday classic. This work is leavened with trenchant social commentary that riffs off the abounding wit of the dialogue. This would make a refreshing palate cleanser in any holiday-themed festival. ”
(Paul Donnelly)

“Look, Satan has feelings too (actually, perhaps too many feelings, that's why we're in this mess in the first place), and it's up to Clarence to cheer up the Dark Lord. Mabey's play is, at once, a delightful holiday spoof and fun story in its own right, and would "kill" in any festival setting, holiday or no. You can't go wrong here.”
(Daniel Prillaman)
“Got a chance to listen to this one on the Gather by the Ghostlight podcast. John Mabey is one of my favorite playwrights, and they have such a diverse array of genres under their belt. The play, IT'S A WONDERFUL SATAN, is no exception; it is a delightfully 'devilish' and very witty parody!”
(David Lipschutz)

“This play is a "devilishly" delightful twist on the classic tale, offering a fresh perspective on redemption and self-discovery. With sharp wit and unexpected turns, this short play navigates the complexities of friendship and the true meaning of evil. John Mabey hit all the right notes on this excellent parody! Wonderful!”
(Neil Radtke)

“Satan, like George Bailey, has always had ambition. But sometimes it takes a visit from a guardian angel to help see things clearly. John Mabey hits all the right notes in this pitch-perfect parody of "It's a Wonderful Life." I laughed — and sometimes cackled — out loud reading this play, and I'm sure to see it on stage would be an absolute joy. Bravo!”
(Adam Richter)

Caravan Productions, UK - 2021
Western Kentucky University, KY - 2023

Gather By The Ghost Light Podcast, GA - 2021
Caravan Productions UK
Caravan Productions UK
Caravan Productions UK
Caravan Productions UK
Caravan Productions UK
Caravan Productions UK
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