Fine Living Lancaster magazine got the chance to speak with Katie Miller, Corporate Communications Manager of Sight and Sound Theatre in Ronks, Pennsylvania. When I met Katie in the lobby, she shook my hand and invited me into the Theatre to witness the dress rehearsal of this year’s show (Sight and Sound’s 27th original show), Samson. The doors opened to a truly immense sight. I heard Jeff Bender, the director, over the loudspeaker giving suggestions and instructing the actors to stop and start over until the scene was just right. Actors sang, moved, danced, twirled, and some were found on massive swings swaying above the seats! I imagined myself sitting below them on the day of an official performance and my heart got butterflies.
From the time a show is in conceptualizing stages, it takes 42 months from start to finish to complete. “We are already one and a half years into 2018’s show,” Technical Director, Glen, tells me. Samson has taken three and a half years to complete. I am completely overcome by the amount of actors on stage, the life-like set design, and the choreography on stage which flows with ease. We sit and watch as the Philistines dance around Samson.
“Do you want to meet some pigs?” Katie asks. I looked at her for a minute, my brain almost doing a double take.
“Wait. You mean pigs, like real pigs?” I ask, and my eyes widen.
Katie leads me to the backstage area where I met two of the pigs who make a fabulous appearance onstage during the show. Along with these little guys are 34 other animals, including: horses, dogs, pigs, and a water buffalo. Sight and Sound Theatre is known for their use of live animals, onstage and in the aisles. They have an entire team of staff members who train and care for the animals used in the shows. Behind the massive warehouse department, they even have several barn structures to house the little celebrity critters. Don’t be fooled, though! Sight and Sound Theatre has been known for building animatronics as well!
After meeting the pigs, I was escorted through each and every department throughout the building. I have to say that the hair and costume departments were my personal favorites. When we walked into the costuming department, several staff members sat at sewing tables. These individuals are responsible for dressing Samson’s 54 actors in 7,000 yards of material. That’s four miles of fabric.
Tickets for Samson are on sale now.
$54 for adults and $21 for children ages 3 to 12.
On Saturdays, tickets are $74 for adults and $21 for children.
For 40 years, Sight and Sound Theatres has delivered unforgettable, uplifting experiences that bring the Bible to life onstage in jaw-dropping scale. In 2,000-seat Theatres in Lancaster County and Branson, MO, more than one million people each year experience original dramatizations of the Bible’s most famous stories of faith, courage, and redemption. Sight and Sound Theatres’ signature special features include spectacular digital effects, massive sets, and live animals.