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The Shepherd of the Hills hosts 60th anniversary show August 8

by Karen Halfpop, Digital/Production Director

The trail that is nobody knows how old has been winding through Ozark Mountain Country and into the imaginations of visitors from all over the world as The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama. This summer, that production celebrates its sixtieth anniversary with a special show at 8:30 pm, August 8, in the Old Mill Theatre.

According to a release, the Old Mill Theatre opened to guests for the first time on August 6, 1960. That first night, the production boasted 35 actors and “a handful of horses.” Today, that show casts 90 actors, sharing a football field-sized stage with horses, mules, donkeys and sheep. They all work together to bring the 1907 novel The Shepherd of the Hills to life in the very same location where the story was written by Harold Bell Wright.

Co-owner and general manager of The Shepherd of the Hills, Jeff Johnson said, “We have been inviting all our prior cast members to the Anniversary Show. We would love to have a large turnout of families and cast members who have memories of the show growing up.” Johnson has a personal connection to the show himself. His grandfather, Bud Jackson, played the part of Doc Coughlin from the mid-1960s until 1988.

“I grew up watching the show with my family, so this night means a lot to my family and me,” Johnson said.

Former cast members can receive a free ticket for themselves and one guest to the Anniversary Show. Additional family members can get tickets for half price. To claim their tickets, former cast members should call the box office at 417-334-4191 and verify their name and the part they played.

Tickets are on sale for the August 8 sixtieth anniversary show at, or by calling The Shepherd of the Hills box office. Ticket prices range from $39.95 to $55, with a dinner and show option available for adults.

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