June 3-August 19, 2017
America's most popular outdoor drama, Unto These Hills, is the tragic and triumphant story of the Cherokee Indians. Set against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains in Cherokee, the show is presented in the forest under the stars at the Mountainside Theater. The original script returns for 2017, due to popular demand. The cast is bigger and better than ever. Broadway shows could only dream of their amazing run of 67 years with 6.4 million tickets sold! Tickets start at just $20/person for the 8 PM show. We took these photos during a preview on June 1, 2017.
For the 2017 season, the original Kermit Hunter production, updated for cultural sensitivity and extra stage drama, is back. This story has action, bitter disappointments and broken agreements. You’ll see triumph and tribulation with both dances of celebration and battle scenes.
The original script was first performed in 1950. But, the drama was re-written entirely in 2006, and that version ran through the 2016 season. So, many spectators will be excited to see the original show for the first time. However, the original script has been shortened from three hours to one hour and 45 minutes. Meanwhile, the cast will grow from 50 actors to about 70.
To upgrade the pageantry of the beloved drama, new projections, pyrotechnics and sound effects will be added. Many of the original costumes were saved and will be worn once again. The season cost to run the show will approach one million dollars!
Since opening on July 1, 1950, "Unto These Hills" has been seen by 6.4 million people.
The 2,100-seat open-air theatre includes general and reserved seating (not a bad seat anywhere), free parking and food concessions. Complimentary golf-cart shuttle service transports anyone that cannot negotiate the steps.
- To purchase tickets (starting around $20/person) by phone, call toll free 1-866-554-4557. Tickets are also available at the Cherokee Historical Association Box Office on Tsali Blvd., across the street from the Museum of the Cherokee Indian (off Highway 441 N), 9 AM-4 PM, and at the Mountainside Theatre (during the summer season - also located off Highway 441 N), 4 PM until show time. Or, order online. Paid reservations are held for late arrival. All tickets are held at the box office. Located adjacent to the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Since the theatre seats 2,000+ people, a show seldom sells out, which is great for last minute planners. Group rates for 15+ tickets.
- We recommend buying combo tickets that include the Drama, the adjacent Oconaluftee Indian Village and nearby Museum of the Cherokee.
- Preshow starts at 7:30 PM with local dances and music. The drama begins at 8 PM. Performance runs two hours including intermission. Appropriate for all ages.
- Handicapped accessible parking and seating are available with golf cart shuttle service.
- The show goes on rain or shine. You can also purchase rain insurance for $3!
- Plenty of free parking.
- Theatre address: 688 Drama Road, Cherokee, NC.
- Cherokee is just 52 miles from Asheville via I-40 West to Exit 27, then U.S. 19 to U.S. 441 in Cherokee (Just over an hour's drive). Or, you can take the more scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, but this could take three to four hours. A great day trip is to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway to Cherokee and return the faster way via I-40.
Each July, experience the Cherokee Pow Wow weekend.