Eureka Springs ‘Passion Play’ in Danger of Shutting Down

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For 45 years, "The Great Passion Play" in Eureka Springs has been telling the greatest story ever told.

The play is currently operated by the Elna Smith Foundation. It is run as a nonprofit, and back in the day, the seats would be full.

But attendance has been in a decline.

Sam Ray, the executive director of the play, says, "You can send a donation. No donation is too small. We're asking people to help keep this great institution alive in Northwest Arkansas."

Ever since 1967, 7.5 million tourists have packed into this beautiful outdoor venue. Most have been supportive, but now the show needs support quickly in a variety of ways.

Like many tourist destinations, the numbers have been down during the recession. Church groups are doing their best to help out.

"We're asking for a lot of church help. There are a lot of churches who have stepped up at this point. We've got a lot of commitment of churches. In fact, yesterday one church sent $1,000. Another church has agreed to send $500. People are stepping up right and left, individuals are doing the same thing and driving thru the parking lot and doing it there."

Sam has put many years of hard work in trying to save and improve the show. The truth is, the facility is aging and time is running out.

"We have 100 percent faith that God will provide. We pray every morning over this place. We will continue to serve God. If it's his time to end this thing, it's his time. If not, I promise you that God will step up and make this miracle happen."

From the top of the theater you can see the Christ of the Ozarks statue.  It's a powerful and calming place to be.

Meanwhile, the employees and management of the show are involved in a different kind of outdoor drama.

They need help right now, or the show will shut down for good.

If you'd like to donate, click here.