Original Biblical Productions
Picture in Scripture Amphitheater is a 1,000-seat outdoor amphitheater located in the hills east of Disney.
Every summer, the amphitheater presents an original Biblical production, featuring a cast of 60 to 80 actors, exotic live animals, including Simon, the camel, state-of-the-art surround sound, pyrotechnics and stunning special effects.
Bill and Linda Goldner, who founded the amphitheater in 1985, continue to operate the amphitheater and are still producing new shows, such as "Damascus Road: Where Saul Becomes Paul, the Greatest Apostle of All Times." which debuted in July 2017.
"Our mission is to tell His story. We tell Bible history — His story," says Linda Goldner. "'Damascus Road' tells the story of Saul's persecution of the early Church, and how the Lord spoke to his heart and changed him on the road to Damascus. It is a pretty powerful story."
"Damascus Road" will be the feature production for Picture in Scripture Amphitheater's 34th season in the summer of 2019. The show will open June 28, and run every Friday and Saturday evening through August 3. There will be no show on Friday, July 5.
In the summer of 1985, the outdoor theater opened with its first production, "The Man Who Ran," a dramatic presentation of the story of Jonah, Jesus and the great fish.
That first production of "The Man Who Ran" was the start of a 20-year run. Thousands of people came to see the story of Jonah brought to life, sometimes with crowds of 1,500 packing the 1,000-seat theater.
"The Elijah Factor", the Goldners’ second production, was equally as well received. "The Elijah Factor" told the story of the prophet Elijah and his encounters with the wicked Queen Jezebel and King Ahab. It played at the amphitheater for more than six seasons.
Over the years, the amphitheater has hosted more than 225,000 visitors from all 50 states and 119 foreign countries.
The Goldners are involved in every aspect of Picture in Scripture Amphitheater, from writing, producing and directing the plays to running the facility. Bill, who also acts in the productions, wrote "The Man Who Ran" and Linda, who directs the shows and works in the sound booth, wrote "The Elijah Factor" and "Damascus Road".
The soundtrack for productions at Picture in Scripture Amphitheater is produced by Scott Allan Mathews with SAMPmusic out of Tulsa.
Depending on the production, the cast ranges from 60 to 80 actors, all of whom are from the Grand Lake area. The crew, which Linda Goldner describes as "a cracker jack crew that is really, really good," is also comprised of local people.
An evening at the amphitheater starts with dinner served in the pavilion. The menu includes charbroiled hamburgers, grilled chicken, barbecue and catfish, as well as light concessions, such as popcorn and cookies.
All of the food is prepared on-site.
Meals are served from 6:30 until 8 p.m.
Youngsters and animal lovers can also visit the amphitheater's petting zoo, which is open before every production from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Visitors can go into the barn to see and pet exotic animals, including a zebra, kangaroos, a ring-tailed lemur and two North African Sulcata tortoises, as well as some neat new animals.
Simon the camel and Yancy the yak will also be in the barn, as well as several animals from the production, including mini-horses and a donkey.
There is no cost for the petting zoo this year; however, donations are welcome.
A musical pre-show starts at 8 p.m. and the play begins around sunset at 8:50 p.m. The show runs approximately 1 1/2 hours.
Tickets for "Damascus Road" are $14.75 for adults, while children 10 and under are free. Walk-ins are welcome; however, reservations are encouraged. Senior discounts and group rates for show tickets are available.
Adult tickets for dinner and the show are $19.75 for the catfish platter and $18.75 for the sandwich platter. A child’s plate is $6 for choice of hamburger, grilled chicken sandwich barbecue sandwich or hot dog with chips. All dinner tickets include a drink.
In the event of inclement weather, rain checks are issued if the show is unable to continue.
"When it's raining, people don't leave. They pop up their umbrellas and we have ponchos," says Linda Goldner. "But if there is lightning, we have to cancel. For the first time in years, last year, we had to not do the show because of lightning.”