Unto These Hills: 66 Years & Counting8.3.2016
Unto These Hills is one of the oldest historical dramas in the United States. It opened in Cherokee, NC, on July 1st, 1950, to critical acclaim, and has since thrilled millions of visitors. Visiting families return year after year to watch the performance in the beautiful Mountainside Theater, under a canopy of Cherokee stars.
The play follows the story of the Cherokee of the Eastern region up to their removal in 1838 via the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma. The drama includes notable Cherokee historic figures, including Sequoyah, Junaluska, and Tsali.
Then and Now
A photo from the Museum of the Cherokee Indian online archive collection shows the construction of the Unto These Hills amphitheater in 1949, in the mountains overlooking downtown Cherokee.
Another photo from the late 80s shows a bird’s-eye view of the outdoor Mountainside Theater, home of Unto These Hills.
A few years ago, the theater was upgraded with a 1.8 million dollar renovation, including new food concessions and comfortable seats, all 2,800 with a clear view of the stage.
[Photo from roeybee on Instagram]
Over the years, the production and storyline have been updated, but the telling remains true to its Cherokee roots, in colorful, moving performances filled with dance and song, as well as thrilling action sequences.
This postcard from the late 80s shows the Cherokee Indian Eagle Dance, a dance handed down thousands of years through tribal ritual.
The Eagle Dance continues to wow audience members today, and is still danced on a stage of sand.
This stunning photo from the museum archive, dated 2009, shows a performer captured mid-flight.
For a sneak peek of the modern production of Unto These Hills, check out this short trailer.
Last year, Unto These Hills received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, due to consistently high ratings from visitors.
“I have been going down to the Smoky Mountains for the past 40 years and have never missed a chance to see Unto These Hills,” said Lilli M, from Romulus, Michigan, in her review of the play. “The first time was with my mom when I was 17. This last time was awesome since the story was changed slightly and more about a Cherokee family that was affected by making the Cherokees leave their land. I loved it!”
“For background before seeing the play, we recommend the Museum of the Cherokee Indian,” wrote a couple visiting from Greensboro, North Carolina.
“An evening to remember, to reflect upon, created by the people in Cherokee, North Carolina. This is an outdoor drama that you become so much a part of that you feel as if you are part of the dance, laughter and tears. The VIP Package. was very much worth the cost and the front row view was spectacular,” wrote Johnnie O, from Maryville, Tennessee.
Reserve Your Seat Before August 13th
The season closes on August 13th, but you can still catch a performance any night until then, except for Sundays, when the drama is closed. For your comfort, check the weather on the day of the show. For only $3.00 per ticket, you can purchase Rain Insurance up to the day before the show. A raincoat is always recommended, even if you don’t have to use it. Blankets and cushions are also welcome, to cozy up, but not needed. For ticket holders, there is ample free parking by the theater.
WHERE: 688 Drama Road
WHEN: Performed at 8 pm nightly until August 13. Closed on Sundays.
General Admission Prices:
Children 6–12: $10.00
Children 5–under: FREE
Buy one adult ticket, get one child ticket free (general admission tickets only) ***Family pack is only available Monday through Wednesday.*** “
Unto These Hills” Reserved Ticket Prices:
Children 6–12: $13.00
Children 5–under: FREE
Cherokee Mountainside Theater Group Prices:
Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Custom itineraries can be made to include other cultural attractions and/or events.
For any questions on group information please call 828.497.2111 ext. 215 or 866.554.4557 or email ChaSales@cherokeeadventure.com.