Sight & Sound Theatres® Debuts Its Most Ambitious Productions in Lancaster County, Pa., and Branson, Mo.
Launching two Biblical dramas onstage this March in jaw-dropping scale, Sight & Sound Theatres® debuts its $5 million epic production of Samson in Lancaster County, Pa., and, in Branson, Mo., premieres Moses.
Each show features a cast of 50-plus actors, live animals, massive sets and stunning special effects. From the reluctant leader Moses to the flawed hero Samson the Sight & Sound shows deliver an immersive, gripping theatrical spectacular that tell inspiring stories of faith, courage and redemption.
“Samson literally will bring down the house,” Producer/Director Jeff Bender said, referring to the story climax where, in one last heroic act, Samson takes down an entire temple by pushing on two pillars. “But for all the spectacle, Samson is first a story of hope. It’s for the wayward and weary—or those who know and love them.”
“The burning bush, plagues, the Red Sea parting and the Ten Commandments—welcome to the place where the Bible comes to life,” Moses Executive Producer Josh Enck said. “But at its core, Moses reveals the heart of the man who went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments. Audiences will leave knowing how he got there and why God chose him.”
Moses premieres March 5, at Sight & Sound Theatres® Branson.
Samson debuts March 12, at Sight & Sound Theatres® Lancaster County.
Moses productions run 9 shows a week and Samson runs 11 shows a week through Dec. 31 with tickets on sale now at www.sight-sound.com
Heroic Sets and Big Technology
The two-and-a-half hour production of Samson took three and a half years to create, and the result is Sight & Sound Theatre’s signature wow factor. Massive sets three stories high (28 feet). Live animals on stage and in the aisles (including a pig race). And a 300-foot panoramic (three-sided) platform of action to immerse audiences in the story onstage, in the aisles and overhead.
Even Samson’s hair—notoriously cut by the beautiful Delilah, robbing him of his strength—is epic. The Samson wig stretches 60 inches from hairline to tip, and costumers created a special harness to help bear the weight.
“You’re in the center of the temple when it collapses, which kids especially love,” said Enck, who also is Sight & Sound president and chief creative officer. “If you like adventure—superhero feats of strength—this absolutely is your show.”
Moses, meanwhile, transports modern audiences back into the middle of ancient Egypt, to a Hebrew brick factory, and to the life of the humble and broken man whom God tasked to deliver His people.
Through it all, Sight & Sound’s most ambitious use of video projection technology will serve up pyramids, seas and palaces in massive scale. Hollywood musical artist Don Harper (National Treasure, The Lion King 1½ )—who also composed Joseph for Sight & Sound Theatres—delivers a cinematic orchestral score of original songs.
“Our goal is to take what most people see as an event-driven story and tell it through its characters,” Enck explained. “Moses rejects his chance to be pharaoh, then he fails his people. In brokenness, he finds his identity in God and returns to miraculously free his nation.”
A Grand, Grand Scale
Great art is in the details, but in a Sight & Sound production, even the details come in some serious quantities.
In Samson, six miles of metal make up the inner structure of the sets, filled out with enough polystyrene foam to hold 2.2 million cups of coffee. Seven thousand yards of fabric costume the 54-member cast. Trainers worked more than a year to prepare the show’s 34 live animals for their debut. Samson’s cinematic original score comes from a team of artists from Los Angeles, Colorado, New York and Nashville—orchestrated into one exhilarating, emotional experience.
“Song and dance can say volumes, costumes are essential, and the sets create context,” Bender explains. “But in every case, every scene, the heartbeat is the story, that no matter how far we fall, God is there for us.”