EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. — While it appeared late last year that The Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs, Ark., would not reopen this year, Assistant Executive Director Kent Butler said, thanks to donations, the play will continue this year with shows starting in May.
“The miracle was just astounding,” Butler said. “When I wrote the press release that we were going to close down, that was the saddest day of my life.”
He said Randall Christy, founder and president of the Gospel Station Network, met with the bank which holds the notes on the property.
In 10 days, Butler said, Christy was able to raise $75,000 by spreading the word through his radio stations.
Butler said it was a chance for God to do a miracle.
“God saved the play at the last possible moment so all could know he saved the play,” Butler said.
He said the play will not only return for 2013, but with many changes.
He said they’ve added sound effects and worked on the pace of the play, making it one hour and 45 minutes long. He said throughout the play, more of God’s miracles will be portrayed.
“We are devoted to being true and faithful to God’s holy word,” Butler said.
Aside from the play, he said there is plenty for people to do while visiting.
The Great Passion Play is also home to a Bible museum and the Sacred Arts Center, which features 1,000 pieces of art. They are also reopening a Holy Land tour.
The grounds are also getting a facelift, Butler said. He said in March, students from across the nation will spend their spring break helping to spruce up.
“We are hard at work here,” he said.
The play opens May 3-4.
Butler said people ordering tickets online at greatpassionplay.org may use the coupon code “trilakes” to receive a 10 percent discount.
The play continues to seek financial support and Butler said there are several ways people can help. He said for a $10 donation, they will light the Christ of the Ozarks statue in honor or memory of someone.
For a $250 donation, a person will receive two 2013 season passes and have their donation recognized on one of the the play’s 4,000 seats.