If you’re new to Lancaster County, you may not know that the area is home to several world-class performing arts venues. We highlighted Lancaster City’s historic Fulton Theatre earlier this year, which brings hit Broadway shows and award-winning stage plays to local audiences.
Sight & Sound Theatres, with its flagship location just outside Lancaster near Strasburg, PA—a second theatre is located in Branson, MO—is different. The company is dedicated to producing original shows based on stories from the Bible—on an epic scale that enthralls audiences.
Today’s post shares what you should know about Sight & Sound Theatres before you go. With each unique show, Sight & Sound offers an experience you won’t find anywhere else, and having a little background on the venue—and its own amazing history—will help you appreciate witnessing the Bible come to life on stage all the more.
The Sight & Sound Experience: Bringing the Bible to Life
Sight & Sound’s website features a section entitled “The Experience,” which promises theatre-goers “spectacular stories, brought to life on a panoramic stage…an epic experience with a meaningful message.”
It’s true that Christian audience members will likely appreciate these stories the most, as they’re deeply familiar and beloved to folks who are dedicated to faith or were brought up attending church. However, anyone with a heart for exceptional storytelling will find the action movie-level special effects and tender, dramatic moments in each show totally captivating. Sight & Sound truly provides their audiences with a memorable show “designed to be universally appealing—regardless of age, life experience, or previous exposure to the Bible.”
The theatre itself has a breathtaking yet comfortable 2,000 seat auditorium with a 300-foot stage that embraces the audience—surrounding the seating area on three sides. World-class sound technology from Clair Brothers—another completely unique Lancaster County-based business—and exquisitely handcrafted sets and costumes come together to fully transport you into the story on stage.
There are also live animals in nearly every production—a crowd-favorite feature.
History of Sight & Sound: An Epic Story All Its Own
To attend a show at Sight & Sound Theatres today, you probably would never guess that the experience grew from one man’s passion for presenting his scenic photography to local church groups with just a humble slide projector and basic audio equipment.
Yet, that’s exactly how Sight & Sound founder Glenn Eshelman got his start way back in 1964.
Along with wife Shirley, Glenn took his show on the road across the US, improving it all the time. By 1976, the Eshelmans made a permanent home for their shows—Living Waters Theatre—near the location of the current Lancaster County theatre. As they might say, “the rest is history.” The theatre was outrageously popular with visitors to Lancaster, as well as local residents, and it continued to grow and revolutionize over the years.
But a catastrophic structure fire in 1997 almost closed the book on Sight & Sound.
Luckily, Glenn & Shirley were not ready to give up on their life’s mission. After 18 months of hard work, the current Sight & Sound Theatres building in Lancaster was opened to rave reviews and sell-out crowds. Productions have been so successful and well-loved that the Branson theatre was planned and opened in 2008. And the future continues to be bright for Sight & Sound.
On stage at the Lancaster Sight & Sound location now is JESUS—through October 5, 2019. This show is a “musical stage adventure about the most famous person ever to walk the earth and the everyday people whose lives he changed forever.”
Beginning on November 1, 2019, The Miracle of Christmas returns by popular demand for the holiday season. It will also play at the Branson, MO theatre. The Branson location typically has a different show lineup—often shows that have already played in Lancaster. (If you already live in Lancaster County, a trip to Branson to see a classic favorite Sight & Sound show may be in order!)
You Could Live at the Heart of the Action in Lancaster County
If you love the performing arts, the Lancaster area is the place to be. Whether you enjoy going to shows, supporting individual theatres as a donor patron, or even lending your talent to productions as a creative employee, you really should come home to Lancaster County to engage your passion.
And, you can learn more about what each has to offer during our annual Explore Retirement Living Open House. Mark your calendar and plan to attend this year’s event on Saturday, October 19, 2019—and then go see a show!