Theater plans to part curtains for 'Moses'
Sight & Sound plans 2014 production Theater plans to part curtains for 'Moses' BY JANE HOLAHAN, Staff Writer
Sight & Sound Theatres has tackled some huge Biblical heroes in the last 35 years, including Jonah, Daniel, Joseph and Noah, all of which became popular shows for the Christian theater in Strasburg.
But the show coming to Sight & Sound Theatres in March 2014, will blow all those others right out of the Red Sea.
" 'Moses' will be "the biggest, most epic show we've ever produced," says Josh Enck, co-president, co-chief creative officer and co-chief administrative officer of Sight & Sound Theatres.
Considering the spectacles Sight & Sound has put on in the past, that's saying something.
"It's a show of biblical proportions," says Jay Petersheim, artistic director at Sight & Sound. "We've wanted to do it for years."
On Wednesday, Enck presented a preview of the show to a group of people from the Lancaster County tourist industry, which included restaurant owners, inn keepers and travel and bus tour operators.
They can begin booking the show at the beginning of April. Tickets will go on sale to the general public May 1.
"Moses" is scheduled to run for a year.
Combined, Sight & Sound's theater here and the one in Branson, Mo., typically draw more than a million people a year. It's the largest faith-based live theater in the country and it is a huge part of the Lancaster County tourism industry.
The Strasburg theater seats 2,050 people and often three shows are presented daily. That's a lot of people passing through Lancaster County.
With a familiar title and the promise of a spectacular story, "Moses" could be a huge success.
"It is a very event-driven story," Enck says. "We chose the adventurous route for this show, sort of like Indiana Jones."
Moses did have an action-packed life, from being sent down the Nile in a basket when he was a baby, to parting the Red Sea, encountering God in the form of a burning bush, experiencing the 10 plagues of Egypt and receiving the Ten Commandments from God.
All of these events will be portrayed in the show, which will cost several million dollars to produce. Enck says they will be presented in immersive, innovative and creative ways, using projections, puppetry and state of the art technical equipment.
"We realized we had the technical ability to tell the story after we began working on 'Jonah,' and now we're way beyond 'Jonah.' " he says.
"We had to figure out where do you begin and where do you stop?" says technical director Wayne Idecker.
"This is going to be an immersive experience," Enck says. "But we also want to find the heartbeat of the story. Moses wasn't perfect. He stuttered, he had anger issues, he had an identity crisis. It took us a year to find the heart of the story and we want to tell that story."
Designing the show took another year and they are now in the midst of building it.
"I've been working here since 1995," Enck says. "And ever since I started, people asked us when we were doing Moses. We are excited that it's worked out. I'm thrilled."