There is a little bit of George Bailey in us all, says Hope resident Pete Law.
Law is producing and staring in the one-man show "This Wonderful Life," a play adapted from the beloved 1946 film "It's a Wonderful Life" this month at WILLow LeaVes of Hope.
Presented by the Actors' Studio of Hope, the show will be offered as a dinner theatre production at 6 p.m. Dec. 8, 9, 15 and 16 and a 1 p.m. matinee Dec. 10 and 17.
"The play is pretty much 'It's a Wonderful Life,'" Law says. "It is based on the screen play written by Steve Murray."
Law is no stranger to performing solo, but he admits this 75 minute production is certainly proving to be a challenge.
"I've taken classes at Second City in Chicago with one- person shows and that has definitely helped me a lot," he says. "I feel like it helped me to transition between characters better."
Unlike his performances in "Christmas of Yesteryear" and "Playing Doctor," Law is challenging himself further by going script-free.
"I won't have the script right in front of me," he says. "I'm trying to get the play memorized and I feel like it is making me better because all the pressure is on me."
Performed against a backdrop of minimalist scenery and props, Law will play more than 20 characters including his own adaptation of the beloved George Bailey - played by the late Jimmy Steward in the original film.
"It is going to be a stretch and most people are familiar with the story and I want to make sure I do it justice," Law says. "I want to make the characters my own, so I won't sound exactly like Jimmy Stewart or Donna Reed. The challenge is that I have to be really aware of the script and which characters are which."
The 42-year-old actor says he has always felt a kind of kinship with the Stewart's character. Like George Bailey, Law says he relates to the idea of wanting to pursue dreams while life seems to get in the way.
"I want to pursue dreams, but keep my home here in Hope, like Bedford Falls is part of Bailey's life," Law says. "We have all had that feeling that we don't feel like we are important to anyone, but what I want people to take away is we have all touched people in our own ways and if we hadn't been there how life would have been different for someone else."
Since he began actively pursuing his acting career nearly three years ago, Law says performing a play based off a movie he's always loved is something that has appealed to him for some time.
For Law, it is making the commitment to himself to get better and better.
"By doing 20 or more characters that is a lot of acting skills you have to put into place," he says. "And I have a lot of training to put into place and it helps me get better."
Another perk of performing solo? It makes rehearsals a lot easier.
"During the holidays it is hard to gather a cast together," he says. "By doing a one man show you don't have to worry about that and you can rehearse on your own."
As the holidays approach Law hopes the play will offer some positivity to counteract a social and political climate where negativity and uncertainty seem to permeate everything.
"I just want those who come see the play to take away a good feeling that everyone is important," Law says. "The way everything is right now, I hope this can alleviate the negativity that surrounds people."