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Hello Friends, I found another gem for you to consider doing this year. It is a Tecumseh outdoor drama played in one of the biggest and oldest amphitheaters in the US since 1973. Over 5 million people saw it, including us. We went there twice and are planning to come back when our two-year-old grows up a bit.
He doesn’t like loud sounds, and I am pretty sure he would not be able to enjoy guns and cannons shooting, so it was the right decision for him and daddy to stay in a hotel and splash in a pool. But my older kids were all in awe watching the show. It was mesmerizing!
A deep appreciation to the Tecumseh administration for sponsoring this visit. The experience was sponsored, but all opinions are mine.
All theater lovers who would like to learn more about Ohio history through creative drama should watch this play. Although the subject and dialogs do not have historical value, but names and places are correct, and the performance itself is phenomenal.
Table of Contents
About the place
Tecumseh outdoor theater is located at Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheatre, 5968 Marietta Road, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601. It’s an enormous outdoor stage that allows you to experience a performance played in unity with nature and the time of the day.
There is only one performance each day, and it starts at sundown (at 8 pm) and lasts for two and a half hours.
The location of the theater is pretty much the place where featured historical events took place.
The stage itself is an open space with a natural lake and woods behind it. Those rocks were built (of course).
It’s was a perfect half a day trip for us, and besides the show, we did tomahawk throwing, gem’s prospecting, a backstage tour, and even had supper there. So budget time for that extra fun because you will not want to miss it.
When you visit this place, don’t watch just the show, do extras, you might not be back for a while, and they have some unique or just great activities.
I would highly suggest getting VIP tickets that include
- Show Ticket
- Backstage Tour
- $5 concessions voucher
- Souvenir Program or Poster
- Rain Insurance
- Collectible VIP Lanyard & tote bag
With this option, you also will get one of the best seats. Although any seating gives you a full view of the whole performance, VIP seats are closer to the stage. We were on the fifth row, right in the middle. It was just perfect! Hear everything, see everything, and far enough, so you don’t feel like you are performing.
It gave us a glimpse of the prehistory of Tecumseh’s life, some facts about the theater and the show, and they revealed some tricks they use in the show.
Groups leave every 15 minutes. I would recommend arriving by 3:15 pm just when they open and getting in one of the first ones. There were six more people when we got there, and the limit per group that day was 20: the fewer people, the better, and the closer to the show, the bigger the crowd.
We found out that they use actual guns and gunpowder, but instead of bullets, they use a ball of hey, so all together, this gives you a real gunshot sound with fire but causes no harm. I bet you will jump up on the first shot because it will catch you by surprise. We did as well as the whole house.
And the blood is made of food coloring, starch, and a dishwashing liquid. So they put it in a syringe, and every knife has a case where you hide the syringe and squeeze the “blood out” by pressing on the handle of the knife. All knives are dull, by the way.
Even if you took a backstage years ago, do it again because they differ. Last time we didn’t have a chance to go behind the stage, but they shared where the actors land while jumping off the cliff and how to fall to be safe if you suppose to fall like a dead person.
Tomahawk Throwing at Tecumseh outdoor Drama
It was the most favorite activity of my athletic 10-year-old son. He was throwing like a pro and would hit the target every time. He managed to hit five bulls’ eyes and was very proud of it.
My 7-year-old daughter was working hard on her throw and eventually hit the target three times.
Tomahawk throwing is a 15 minutes activity where you and your kids can pretend to be Indians and throw the axes at a target. So again, go early and enjoy the whole place just for yourself. A family runs the place, and it was interesting to know that the guy working there has the same name as Tecumseh’s Producer, Brandon Smith.
The activity does not come with a VIP ticket but totally worth the extra bucks.
One of my bucket list activities is to do gems’ prospecting. We had a taste of it at Tecumseh’s Gift Shop. Here is how it happened. You buy a bag filled with sand mixed up with gems, and a seller gives you a leaflet with pictures and names of gems.
Then you go to barrels filled up with water and wash all the sand off. You get a lot of gems left in your mesh.
My kids were all screaming excitedly, finding arrowheads, crystals, fools gold, peacock gems, and much more…
They sorted all their findings and then were busy trading them with each other. They were playing for an hour and would play even more if they didn’t get hungry.
Where to eat
The Amphitheater has a pizza, burgers, and hotdog place with soft drinks. So we got pizza and hot dogs and a huge bucket of popcorn. My youngest really likes popcorn, and he ate a lot.
Tecumseh Drama Prologue
If you didn’t know, Tecumseh was a real person and considered the greatest representative of the Native Americans. Despite his young age, he was a brilliant speaker, politician, extraordinary leader, and a great worrier. Just imagine, at the age of six years old, he already was an established hunter and could provide for himself, and at the age of 24, he became chief of his tribe (not by his will though), and people loved and followed him. He had a tremendous influence over other tribes.
When he was born, a bright meteor flew through the sky, so his father named him Tecumseh, which means “The panther passing across.”
He had the vision to unite all Indian tribes under one Indian Nation and to get rid of Americans. Who knows, if his plan was successful, maybe we would not be here…
With the first seconds of the Tecumseh play, the performance captures and holds your attention with actions and dialogs. Indians riding horses without saddles, guns, and cannons shooting, fire, dancing, costumes… You are immersing. You will be right there. You will be a participant, not an observer.
I am not going to tell you the subject of the drama. You should come and watch it yourself. See it with your own eyes and hear with your ears.
But I will share some details that impressed me the most about the show. The performance takes place under an open sky, an,d actors do not use microphones, yet we could hear every sound, even when the cannons were shooting. Yes. The acting is terrific.
Some of the horses have been performing in the show for ten years, and they actually know their roles. Onсe, a rider fell off the horse right before coming to the stage. His horse came out alone, stood there the right amount of time, and then went back. I call it high professionalism.
For the two hours we spent there, kids were sitting and watching the whole time. They were mesmerized, and so were I.
You cannot take any pictures or videos of the show, but you can take memories with you. So come to make them! You can book the tickets here.
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