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Branson’s Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama shares the passionate tale of life in the Ozarks in the late 1800s, as seen through the eyes of author, Harold Bell Wright, in his epic novel of the same name. An impressive cast of actors and animals play out the drama from the best-selling book in an authentically detailed outdoor set. Guests enjoy a production that features everything you hope to see from a largely true-to-life story; you’ll witness gunfights, an actual burning cabin, a sweet love story, and even humor, the one thing helps us all deal with difficult situations. The play first took the stage in 1959, and its popularity hasn’t dimmed with the years. And being in the production is often a family and friends affair; many of today’s actors had siblings, parents, grandparents, neighbors, and friends who held roles in years past, making Shepherd of the Hills much beloved by the community, and nearly a rite of passage for locals looking for a career in theater. The exciting and heart-warming story of Shepherd of the Hills takes place on a stage the size of a football field, and includes a cast of approximately 90 actors, horses, mules, donkeys, and sheep.
The novel, Shepherd of the Hills, was the second book written by Harold Bell Wright, the American author largely credited with being the first to ever sell a million copies of a book of fiction. This particular story quickly became popular as people couldn’t seem to get enough of learning about the tough life of the mountain folk who lived in Southern Missouri and Northern Arkansas. The novel was made into several movie versions; the biggest was a Hollywood production in 1941 starring John Wayne in the role of young Matt. But nothing quite compares to the experience of seeing the Shepherd of the Hills live in front of you on an outdoor stage! Audiences feel close to the action and become completely absorbed in the lives of young Matt, Sammy Lane, Aunt Mollie, Wash Gibbs, and the other fascinating characters from the novel.
Helpful Hints/Additional Information
- The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama can be seen at the Shepherd of the Hills Homestead in Branson, Missouri.
- The Homestead is located at 5586 West Highway 76.
- Parking for the show is across the street from the Homestead; Jeep-drawn trams bring guests from the parking lot to the amphitheater.
- The drama begins at 8:30 p.m. from May to August, and at 7:30 p.m. during September and October. The production can be seen on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, as well as on May 26 and September 1.
- Pre-show activities begin 45 minutes prior to show-time.
- Guests are welcome to visit with the cast prior to the show as time permits, and are invited to a meet & greet, including taking pictures and getting autographs, following the performance.
- Younger visitors are encouraged to participate in a gunny sack race and visit with the animals.
- Everyone is invited to participate in a square dance with the cast during intermission.
- There is a gift shop and concession area available on site at the Homestead.
There are scores of incredible live shows to enjoy in Branson, but there’s only one outdoor production that’s been delighting folks for more than 50 years...experience a significant piece of Ozarks’ history at the Shepherd of the Hill Outdoor Drama!