Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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December 2, 2013

Wonderful Life a wonderful opportunity for pastor — The chance to see the Pauls Valley presentation of a classic American holiday tale come to life in the local high school auditorium is now only days away from eager audiences.

Thrilled to be a part of the PV Arts Council production of “It's a Wonderful Life” is local pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, Brian Black, who will be portraying a certain Angel Second Class, Clarence Oddbody.

It didn't take much convincing for him to delve into the community activity as it holds a special place for his family through the movie version that is always on at the house each yuletide season and among the rest of the actors, can be seen retelling the story at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6.

“The main reason I did it is because it's my favorite movie, we watch it as a tradition every year,” said Black, who is also taking on the roles of George Bailey's dad, Carter the bank examiner and the Bailey Building and Loan President Dr. Campbell.

“I've seen it more times than I can count… we all know the movie nearly by heart.”

Though this is not Black's first experience portraying a character in front of an audience, he has not done so since his days in high school when he did productions like “Don't Drink the Water” and “Annie Get your Gun.”

However, in a way it will dip into another part of his past where he was a disc jockey for radio broadcast in Oklahoma City as it emulates what a station performance would have been like in the 1940s.

“It's kind of dipping my toes back into that water,” said Black, who prefers this style of play versus having to memorize a lot of lines and stage blocking. “I thought I would give it a shot.”

Another benefit for Black is that he gets to share the spotlight on stage with his daughter, Erin Cawthon, who will be portraying Mary Hatch, the sweetheart and eventual wife of George Bailey (Jayston Muse). She was involved in a previous arts council production when they did “Steel Magnolias” here in 2007 and has been doing theater off and on since she was a child through Missoula plays.

Black also believes these types of events where people in the community get involved creates a position of strength and a unique flair through the participants.

Advanced tickets for the radio theater production are available at the Pauls Valley Chamber of Commerce office, 112 E. Paul St. and they will be sold for $5 for adults as well as $3 for children 3 to 12 until Thursday, Dec. 5

“Any time an organization can provide entertainment for community that's a great thing and when it can involve the community it's even better,” said Black. “I think it's healthy for a community when they can do stuff like this.”

Tickets can be purchased online through the site At the door, tickets will cost $6 (cash or check). Children under 3 and accompanied by an adult are free.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for general admission seating. Audience members are invited to dress in 1940s style as befitting the era of the story.

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