CAMBRIDGE - The Living Word outdoor drama in Cambridge traces its beginnings to the late 1950s when the Rev. Frank Harvey started planning a theatrical presentation of the last three years of the life of Christ.
While teaching at Andrew College, Ga., an indoor presentation of "The Living Word" was presented. The play was again produced in 1968 in the Atlanta Stadium, sponsored by Atlanta's Council of Churches, under the title "Behold the Man."
The Rev. Frank and Hazel Roughton Harvey, both of whom are now deceased, later decided to build an amphitheater on a farm in Cambridge, Ohio. They used temporary scenery left from the Atlanta production and called on friends to help with labor.
The Roman Centurion.
Those original volunteers were Frank, Hazel and Grace Harvey; Dick, Neva and Pam Vessels; Tom Flowers; Bishop Fred Montgomery; Dave Blackwoods; and an NCR crew led by Ron Lindy.
Now, 35 years later, The Living Word still relies on friends and volunteers from all faiths and walks of life to continue with the passion play. Volunteers provide countless hours doing such things as acting, sewing, working in the gift shop and concession, landscaping, doing construction and providing technical support.
Judge David and Annette Ellwood and the Rev. Reginald and Gloria Martin have been with the drama from the opening in 1974. For several years, flower beds at the outdoor drama have been planted and taken care of by Dr. Joe and Maudi Fanti. Other faithful volunteers throughout the years have included Dr. Quentin and Mary Knauer, Allen Minnich, John Harmon, Jerry Dyer, the Rev. Wayne Hogue, Dale Hileman, Duane and Karen Lucas, Rich and Bev Lyons, Dee Carter, Lowell and De Thomas, and Bill Welsh.
Performances for The Living Word outdoor drama are at 8 p.m. each Friday and Saturday through Sept. 26 at the amphitheater at 6010 College Hill Road, Cambridge. A set tour at 7:15 p.m., followed by a special musical guest, is included.
Tickets are $16 for adults; $13, senior citizens; and $5, children, ages 4 to 12.
For more information or reservations: (740) 439-2761.