The Living Word – Ohio’s Only Outdoor Passion Play
The only outdoor passion play in Ohio, or in any of the surrounding states, takes place in the hills just outside Cambridge. The Living Word Outdoor Drama tells the story of the last weeks of the life of Jesus. The perfect hillside amphitheater is centered around a 400-foot panoramic set which looks like Old Jerusalem at the time when Jesus lived. The mission of the drama is “To spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Dedicated volunteers from many area churches are at the heart of The Living Word from participating in the drama to working in the ticket booth, gift shop, and concession stand. Lighting and special effects along with authentic costumes make this a spectacular event. A white donkey and an authentic horse-drawn Roman chariot add to the excitement.
A special feature of “The Greatest Story Ever Told” is the ability of audience members or area residents to participate in the show. Costumes are available for them to wear as they become part of the story. Bring your own sandals (no flip-flops) or use those available with the costumes. It’s a great opportunity to be on stage in a large production without having to learn any lines.
The Living Word Drama was founded in 1974 by Biblical dramatist Frank Roughton Harvey when he moved to Guernsey County from Georgia. Since that time over a half million visitors have witnessed the show, which celebrates its 45th season this year.
Today the Living Word is directed by Heath Dawson, a young man with a passion for the outdoor drama. He has the enthusiasm of youth as well as a love of God that makes a great combination for this position. Heath looked out over the performance and remarked, “I love this place. I don’t ever see myself wanting to leave.”
It’s amazing to find something as magnificent as The Living Word Outdoor Drama located in the hills of Guernsey County. It’s a spectacular setting over 400′ long with a temple, courtrooms, homes, and gateways. The cast puts their heart and soul into making the scriptures come alive as they tell the story of those last days of Jesus’ life.
Witness scripture come to life through the Sermon on the Mount, the Palm Sunday Entrance, The Last Supper, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension in this beautiful outdoor setting. The excellent sound system makes it easy to clearly hear the performance from any seat in the amphitheater during this two and a half-hour drama.
The traumatic ending grabs at the heart of young and old alike. A hush comes over the crowd and many hide their eyes when the crucifixion happens as they can’t bear to watch the agony involved. But resurrection follows giving hope to all. It’s a dynamic drama.
Many improvements have recently been made. New this year are a graveled parking lot, fresh paint in the concession area and restrooms, and wonderful landscaping at the Cross of Mercy circle in front of the box office. Currently, they are working on better lighting for the parking lot.
During August, the drama hosts “Crucifixed”, a day of musical entertainment geared toward young people. It will feature Christian music bands from across the nation, including As We Ascend, Random Hero, The Protest, Zahna, and our own local praise/worship team The Love Brothers.
A family-centered day will be held in September. The “Jerusalem Experience” will feature Biblical experiences of making costumes, games, and fun for the entire family. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students but include Free Admission to the evening performance!
Their director is certain to greet you as you leave with a smile and “God bless you.” His faith means everything in his life as he has discovered, “It’s amazing what God can do to, for, through, and with a person when you let Him.”
The present attendance record stands from 2016 when nearly 700 people witnessed the Living Word Outdoor Drama. This year “Set the Attendance Record Night” will occur on September 25, 2021, the season finale. They are hopeful that this time there will be nearly 1,000 people in attendance. On this final night of the season, admission is by donation only. Come early to get a good seat.
Shows for this powerful drama are 7:30 on Friday and Saturday evenings June through Sept.
Admission is $18 for adults, $6 children (4-12) and $16 for seniors (60 and over). It’s located a couple of miles outside Cambridge at 6010 College Hill Road. It’s a great place for families and even tour buses to spend an evening.
Listen to the story that never grows old for people of all ages at The Living Word Outdoor Drama sometime soon. Because He lives!
For more information visit their website at www.livingworddrama.org.