The Canadian Badlands Passion Play will mark its 25th consecutive year this summer and it looks like a lot of people can't wait to see what they're going to do to celebrate the occasion.
 
Executive Director Vance Neudorf told 99.5 Drum FM they've already sold out the first show, which is scheduled for July 6.
 
"We kind of went let's do something really special and put out a special offer for just that night and see if people want to come to that," he related. "Lo and behold, the thing went crazy and sold out, and the other nights are starting to come along."
 
Neudorf feels kind of lucky that he's getting to lead the play into its quarter century year.
 
"In 2005 it was considered maybe it's run its course and people aren't interested anymore," he recalled. "That's when Randall Wiebe and Royal Sproule and some of those folks got together and said I think we could do this a little bit differently; let's go drama based instead of choir based, which is what it was."
 
Over the years, the Canadian Badlands play has upgraded its site with the addition of the Jerusalem Wall backdrop, along with the new sound system; and they change the script every five years to keep the production fresh.
 
"The (Passion) play in South Dakota didn't change in 75 years," he noted. "They never changed one word of their script and then when it went down, there's something good for continuity, but people also need a little bit of a fresh experience."
 
Neudorf admitted there are other changes the organizers are talking about to mark their 25th anniversary, but they can't be revealed just yet.
 
They're hosting 'Memories of Christmas' on Sunday, January 14 at the Badlands Community Facility (4:00 p.m.). The Rosebud Masterworks Choir and Three Hills Community Choir will perform the Christmas portion of Handel's Messiah. Admission is by donation, with proceeds going to the Passion Play.
 

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