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Bethlehem Players Presents “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play”

It's a Wonderful Life by Bethlehem Players“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is presented by the Bethlehem Players, December 5-8, at Bethlehem United Methodist Church in the Grassland area of Franklin and includes cast members left to right Bailey kids, Jessica Undis and Natalie Watson of Franklin with radio veteran Pat Reilly, Maggie Pit and Joe Shephard as Uncle Billy, Mary and George Bailey. (Photo by Geinger Hill)


“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” is being presented by the Bethlehem Players, a community theater outreach of Bethlehem United Methodist Church in the Grassland area of Franklin, December 5-8 as well as being re-aired Christmas Eve on Franklin’s hometown radio station, WAKM 950 AM.

Written by Joe Landry, directed locally by Johnny Peppers and sponsored by award-winning Nashville playwrights, Osborne & Eppler, the stage production is inspired by the classic American film,”It’s a Wonderful Lifeand is performed as a 1940s live radio broadcast in front of a studio audience.

Peppers said the delightful production will be a great way to kick off the season and will help underwrite the spring production of “Hello, Dolly!”

“We are so honored that Nashville area playwrights Dietz Osborne and Nate Eppler are sponsoring this production. We are converting our Bethlehem Performing Arts space into an old time radio show for this very heart-warming play and have involved as many talented community actors in the production as possible,” Peppers said. “After depleting our coffers installing a state-of-the-art lighting system this year, the play will help us stage our upcoming February 28th through March 8th production of ‘Hello, Dolly’ that you won’t want to miss.”

The large cast for the talented production includes four area radio veterans Joe Shephard as George Bailey, Pat Reilly as Billy Bailey, Joseph, Old Man Collins, Martini and Nick, Mark McNulty as Ernie, Freddie Filmore, and Harry Robinson as Henry Potter and Mr. Gower. The other cast members include: Maggie Pitt (Mary Hatch Bailey), Jim Maden (Clarence), Amanda Wright (Matilda), Beth Henderson (Violet Bick), Debbie Robinson (Stage Manager, Foley), Ginny Welles (Rose Bailey, Commercial Trio), Janie Varn (Sadie Vance), Jessica Undis (Young Violet, Janie Bailey), Jim Allen (Harry Bailey, Sam Wainwright, Dr. Campbell, Mr. Welch), Natalie Watson(Young Mary), Preston Crook (Shultz, Horace, Bridgekeeper, Binky), Stephanie Jackson (Zuzu, Ruth Bailey, Mrs. Hatch, Commercial Trio), Steve Brugman (Peter Bailey, Bert, Ed), Susan Davis (Mrs. Thompson) and production musical director Kandace Peppers.

“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Radio Play” is presented December 5, 6, 7 at 7:00 p.m.
and December 8 at 2:00 p.m.

With limited seating, $10 per person general admission tickets are available via

The production will be re-aired at 9 a.m. on Christmas Eve on WAKM 950 AM and presented by Speedway Motors.

Founded in 1997, the Bethlehem Players have staged for packed audiences two world premiere productions, Southern Fried Funeral and Southern Fried Nuptials, as well as hits like Steel Magnolias, A Bad Year for Tomatoes, Rumors, Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, The Sound of Music and most recently, Barefoot In The Park. More info, and

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