BRANSON, Mo. -- The sounds of Baldknobbers will once again echo though the Ozarks. The Shepherd of the Hills has announced It’s cast will take back to the stage this summer on a limited basis.
"Oh my God we're so excited, just to get to this point," says co-owner and marketing director Sharena Naugher. "We felt like the crowds had really declined, and really felt forgotten."
Naugher says the emotions of the potential ending of an era last October, were coupled by the loss of her father and owner, Gary Snadon, a few days later.
"I hope so, I hope so." Naugher said when asked if her late father would be proud. "I sure wish he was here, and I think that he will be here with us tonight."
After announcing the show would end, Naugher says there was an outpouring of support - letters and e-mails - from across the nation. The co-owner says at that point she new the show must go on.
"We were shocked," says Naugher, "because we knew how much the show meant to us, we didn't realize how much everyone else loved it too."
Naugher say the play was able to open back up after the owner sold off a few satellite businesses, and cut back on show times and costs.
"It's a love story, its a drama, it's a mystery, it's a premiere western," says Director Keith Thurman, who has been with the show for more than 4 decades.
Thurman says almost all of the original cast we be coming back for the 55th season, he says some even held off from getting jobs in hopes the show would continue.
"This is just part of this area's history," says Thurman, "there are so many people in the show who grew up around here."
The Director also says over the last few years a number of changes have been made to the show, while still staying true to the story. He says new scenes have been pulled from the book, horses stay on set longer and the Ballknobbers are introduced sooner.
"We are constantly changing the show, we are constantly improving the show," says Thurman, ""our goal is to take them back to the 1890s, and just hold them there."
Visitors will now be taken back to the wild west four nights a week during the summer, and 3 nights, every weekend, during the Fall.