In celebration of Easter, Sight & Sound Theatres will bring its stage production of "Jesus" to screens worldwide in a special live broadcast event.
The original stage production — which focuses on the people the Son of God came in contact with when He walked the Earth and how He rescued them, from the Apostle Peter to Mary Magdalene — will air live from the Branson, Missouri, stage on April 2, with encore showings playing on Saturday and Sunday.
“For more than 40 years audiences from all over the world have been coming to Sight & Sound to experience the Bible coming to life on stage,” said Sight & Sound Chief Story Officer Josh Enck. “Now, we get to go to them.”
“‘Jesus’ is a story about the man who strapped on His sandals, rolled up His sleeves, and reached into the lives of those sinking beneath the storms of life,” Enck continued. “We’re thrilled to bring this story to the world again for Easter. This time, in a brand-new way.”
The Easter broadcast of “JESUS—Live” marks only the second time Sight & Sound has produced a live, televised show, and the first time ever from its location in Branson.
The event will include a 30-minute pre-show and exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews and a sneak peek at how the production was created, from its massive sets to live animals.
Over 4 million people have watched Sight & Sound’s “Jesus,” which follows Peter, Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene and others as they journey alongside the Son of God. The event also dramatizes inspirational moments from Jesus’ life, from challenging the Pharisees to healing the sick and hurting.
Katie Miller, corporate communications manager at Sight & Sound, previously told The Christian Post that the production takes a "very personal approach to the Jesus story.”
“We meet so many characters and learn the story of who they were both before and after they encounter Jesus," she said. “After watching the show, so many people came to us and said, ‘That’s my story. That’s how Jesus rescued me.'”
"I think that's one of the most inspiring and unexpected things that came out of that show. People saw themselves in the characters and in the way that Jesus was meeting every single person, right where they were at, and bringing to them what they needed to be rescued.”
According to Enck, the writers wanted to highlight Jesus' humanity and ability to connect with those of every walk of life while still emphasizing His holiness.
“With Sight & Sound, we usually try to show the flaws and humanness of our characters, from Moses to Noah,” he said. “With Jesus, there are no flaws. However, we also didn't want to present the person of Christ as the stained-glass version of Jesus where He’s not accessible or touchable.”
“We wanted to keep that reverence and holiness; that's absolutely critical,” he clarified. “But at the same time, He rolled up His sleeves, and He strapped on sandals, and He walked on water; He was right there with people, wherever they were. We really tried to capture that truth.”
Though Sight & Sound, which has provided biblically-based entertainment for over four decades, seeks to “equip and inspire the Church” through storytelling and action-packed performances, the most powerful responses, Enck told CP, are from audience members who give their lives to Christ after witnessing one of their stage productions.
“We have what we call an ‘after-show ministry.’ After every performance, we open it up to prayer, and with this show in particular, the numbers were higher than ever of people dedicating their lives to Christ,” he said. “People came to us, tears streaming down their face, asking for prayers, asking the Lord into their hearts.
“God is working through this show. That alone makes it so incredibly significant.”
Where to Watch ”JESUS – Live“
Live Event: Friday, April 2, 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
Livestreamed encore showings:
Saturday, April 3, 3 p.m. EDT and 8 p.m. EDT
Sunday, April 4, 3 p.m. EDT and 8 p.m. EDT