The Canadian Badlands Passion Play set a record this year as their attendance skyrocketed over last season.
General manager Vance Neudorf was elated to announce the show had broken a new attendance record.
“We had 14,040,” Neudorf told inSide Drumheller. “Last year was 12,203, we were up 15 per cent.”
While this season they did not see a sell-out (capacity is 2,692), four of the shows had well over 2,000 in attendance. In fact, over the complete run they averaged more than 2,000 in the seats.
With the number of changes, Neudorf said the performances were smooth.
“It was amazing to see everything come together. With everything that had to be done, it was crazy trying to pull it all off, but it all happened,” he said.
As far as the final product on the stage, Neudorf was able to actually sit and watch the show this season.
“By and large, I said, ‘Wow, what a wonderful piece these people have created,'" adding that the feedback he has received about this year’s performance has been positive.
“The show is just a visually stunning piece.”
One factor they could not control however was the weather. Jesus received a reprieve from the cross on Friday night, July 22 when the show had to be halted due to rain, as he was marching up Golgotha.
One of the strengths of the Passion Play is that it is never static. While the show closed last Sunday, they are already looking towards next season.
“There will be changes… every year we look at it and make a bit of a change here or there, or fix some things. There will be some work on the set to bring it up to exactly what we want. We will be working on the sound system some more,” he said, explaining that the new system may allow them to outfit the facility with in-ear receivers that patrons who are hard of hearing could rent to better enjoy the show.
“We are just going through our post-show things and coming up with a list of things we will fix up for next year, but there is quite a list of things we’re excited to improve upon,” said Neudorf.