Opening Night for 2017 is July 21st at 8:30pm
The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama is the action-packed live reenactment of the famous historical novel by Christian minister, Harold Bell Wright. Published in 1907, this beautiful story tells of life in the rugged Ozark Mountains of Missouri in the late 1800’s. Over 90 actors and actresses, horses, sheep, mules and donkey’s perform on a stage the size of a football field. There’s a shoot-out, the actual burning of a log cabin, a love story, a mystery and a moral message that is as true today as it was over a century ago.
As the production begins, the warm summer sun casts long shadows over Old Matt’s mill as another dry, dusty day ends. Matt’s neighbors linger at the mill having their corn ground into meal. They joke with each other to lighten the increasingly worrisome thought…many of them will lose their homes after the drought has ruined their crops and dried up all the streams.
Fascinating characters are introduced as they arrive in wagons or on horseback. You’ll be introduced to Old Matt, the pillar of the community, and his son Young Matt, the strapping hero of the tale. Beautiful Sammy Lane arrives, and the audience gets their first glimpse of the villainous Wash Gibbs and the vigilante Baldknobber gang.
During the 1800’s these rugged Ozark hills were wild and untamed. Law enforcement had a difficult time and crime was rampant. A group formed, originally to assist law-abiding citizens. Soon though the group grew so powerful they were bending the laws for their own gain. Before long, they were far worse than the criminals they originally tried to fight against. They terrorized the hills, thieves and murderers who traveled in packs and wore black hoods to protect their identity.
The mysterious Shepherd is introduced. The kind, gentle man who settled in the hills after coming to the area from Chicago. He is well respected and well spoken. He mentors those who seek him out, and teaches of God’s love and forgiveness…yet he himself has a painful secret he has never asked forgiveness for.
As the story unfolds, the audience is swept into the lives of these strong people who lived well over a century ago. There’s comedy, romance, and the age-old struggle of good against evil. In the end, there is a message of forgiveness.
Generations of families have grown up loving this experience – children who visited with a school field trip in the 1960’s or 1970’s now bring their children and grandchildren back to be a part of the fun and excitement of this live production.
Showtime is 8:30pm May thru August, 7:30pm in September and October. Jeep-drawn trams will pick you up from the parking lots and carry you down the hill – and back in time over a century. Pre-show activities begin approximately 45 minutes prior to showtime. Guests are welcome down on set to visit with the cast and our younger visitors are encouraged to take part in a gunnie sack race or visit with some of our animals up close.
During our unique intermission, guests are also encouraged onto the set to take part in a square dance with our cast and to visit with the characters. After the show the cast loves to meet with our visitors, pose for pictures and sign autographs.
The theatre is reserved seating, advance reservations are recommended.
Outdoor Drama Tickets Only are $37 for Adults and $18 for Children ages 4-16