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Tulsa church adds new twist to Easter story

Victory Christian Center is producing its annual Easter production, incorporating an unexpected twist.

“There’s a big comparison between light and dark,” said Pastor John Daugherty, producer and playwright of Victory’s original “God Save the World.” “There’s gonna be surprises that we haven’t done before. We’re gonna show demonic influence, so we’re gonna in- volve Lucifer for the first time. We’ve [also] invented some characters that are lively.”

The play was written, directed and produced by ORU grads, John Daugherty, Jonathan Coussens and Ryan Stafford, who is the co-director along with Daugherty.

“We’re not just going straightforward like a Sunday school class about the final week of Jesus,” said Stafford. “Instead of seeing Jesus tried before Pilate, we’ll see Jesus in the dungeon with the two thieves and Barabbas having their conversation.”

Daugherty describes the writing process of the play as being a “divine download,” writing the entire play in one night.

“I wrote the script, and I chose the music and the cast,” said Daugherty. “I produced it. [Stafford] is now directing it just because that’s his gifting. I love it.”

The play incorporates dancing and music not well- known and remixes of popular songs to cater to the modern audience. The performance also consists of intense themes and seven major elements that have not been performed on the Victory Christian Center stage for 20 years.

“John Daugherty and Jonathan Coussens have really made the characters leap off the page in ways that I don’t think even people who are church-going people are accustomed to,” said Stafford. “My hope is that this play will create a renewed hunger and energy to go into the Bible.”

By bringing the Bible to life, the audience will be able to experience every emotion, pain and battle Jesus felt during the week before his resurrection. The production comes at no cost to the public.

“We never charge for performances because we feel weird for charging people for Jesus,” said Daugherty. “You will experience every emotion. You will laugh, you will cry, you will feel hatred, and at the end, you won’t be able to leave without being changed.”

Performance dates are Friday March 25 at 7 p.m., Saturday March 26 at 11 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday March 27 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Story by Rejoice Nwadiuko, Photos by Tabitha Levi

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