While exploring The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs you’ll discover all the sights and attractions of an unforgettable family vacation. From the emotionally stirring play to the fascinating Backstage Tour and the inspiring Holy Land Tour and Christ of the Ozarks statue, this haven allows one to experience walking through the pages of the Bible first-hand.
If you’ve seen Easter movies such as “The Greatest Story Ever Told” and “King of Kings,” you’ve only received a mere glimpse of the power of Christ’s sacrifice for all mankind.
The Great Passion Play is a faithful, interdenominational portrayal of the greatest story ever told, complete with Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to heaven, drawn directly from the Gospels and Acts in the New Testament. The play will move many to tears and have a profound effect on the lives of Christians and seekers alike. Something about this production is truly mesmerizing. The character of Jesus isn’t a hapless martyr, or a sort of “nice guy” as sometimes portrayed in other productions. Here, Jesus is fierce, passionate and determined; completely unmoved by legalism or public opinion. At the same time, Jesus is a tender healer of many and a merciful Savior, intent on forgiving Peter’s resounding betrayal.
Beyond the play, which is the headline attraction, there’s an array of symposiums and events to enjoy between tours and the play itself. One can squeeze every bit into one epic day by fitting the Christ in the Ozarks statue, chapel and Berlin Wall at one end and the Bible and Art Museums at the other around the Holy Land Tour at noon, the Backstage Tour at 3 pm, a supper buffet at the Great Hall between 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm, then take in the play itself from 8:30 pm to 10:15 pm (most times move back one hour to sync with sunset after Labor Day).
By preference, we took in the sights over two days and found the new Backstage Tour particularly intriguing. The Backstage Tour offers a never-before-seen look at the fascinating winding byways and mysterious alcoves behind the gargantuan five-story high by over 500 feet wide set. The hour-long tour reveals how the production is orchestrated with dedicated precision including the appearances of live animals used on-set like lambs, doves and horses.
Families are wowed by David the Shepherd’s slingshot skills and love the Parables of the Potter where the potter crafts authentic clay pottery while relating how the Master potter touches our lives and hearts as willing vessels. Each piece is formed with gentle care on a manual potter’s wheel. The play begins shortly thereafter and is the largest attended continually running open-air theater production in North America. The Great Passion Play has had more than eight million visitors since its premiere in 1968 after construction of the Christ of the Ozarks in 1966, according to the GPP web site.
The significance of the play and everything you’ve seen makes an indelible, lasting impression. In short, we loved the Great Passion Play, its supporting tours and attractions; and we look forward to celebrating with them in spirit, their 50th anniversary.
The Great Passion Play
935 Passion Play Rd, Eureka Springs, AR 72632