The New Great Passion Play Celebrates 40th Anniversary With Changes

EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. –The New Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs opens its 40th anniversary season Friday, May 2 with many changes to the script, score and set.

 To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the play has been revamped with parables and text from different gospels in The New Testament, focusing on more miracles Christ performed in the days before his crucifixion and the days before his ascension.

 “Overall, our new script develops new elements in the character of Jesus,” said Rick Mann, artistic director and one of the actors who portrays Jesus. “It shows the impact of Jesus on the lives of Pontius Pilates’ wife, the high priests’ servant Malchus, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimethea in new and fuller ways, and returns to a focus on the miraculous in the life story of Jesus.

Those returning to see the play can still expect to find more than 150 actors and live animals on the 550-foot stage, but more than 90 percent of the scenes are new, along with the introduction of a new character – Satan.

 “New visitors will find an experience like no other,” Mann added.

 Performances run May 2 through Oct. 25 at 8:30 p.m. nightly, excluding Wednesdays and Sundays. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. after Labor Day. For more information, visit or call 1-800-882-7529.