Update: The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama continued for a 55th season in 2014, and is expected to return in 2015.
After 54 years of entertainment, the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama in Branson, Missouri will ends it outdoor drama with a final performance on October 19, 2013.
Started in 1960, the Shepherd of the Hills play was one of the early attractions on which Branson began its tourism industry. The outdoor drama is based on the book of the same name, published in 1907 and written by Harold Bell Wright. His visit to the Branson area became the inspiration for his novel, which went on to become the first book in the United States to sell more than one million copies.
In a statement released Wednesday, owners expressed heartfelt gratitude and sadness regarding the shows closure. “It is with great soul searching and sorrow that we have come to the conclusion that after 54 years in production, we must bring this spectacular presentation of Branson’s history to a final curtain call with the closing night of this year’s season. We are so thankful for all of you who have shared your talents and your lives with us and all our guests through the years in helping to preserve the legend of the Shepherd of the Hills. The statement also cited the rising costs of insurance, production, and declining crowds as reasons for the show ending.
The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead will be preserved and maintained as a historical landmark and tours of Old Matt’s Cabin, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, will still be available during the summer months. Inspiration Tower and the Vigilante Extreme ZipRider will be open year-round. During November and December, the Trail of Lights Drive-Thru and the Christmas on the Trail Chuckwagon Dinner Show will still operate normally.
If you’d like to see the one of the final performance of Shepherd of the Hills, tickets can still be purchased online or by calling 1-800-590-0155.