Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant
|Jesus the Christ|
|Written by||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints|
|Subject||Creation of the world, Fall of Adam and Eve, and life of Jesus Christ|
|Setting||Evenings on the North lawn of the LDS Temple visitor's center in Mesa, Arizona, United States|
The Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant Jesus the Christ is an annual production of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) staged on the grounds of the Mesa Arizona Temple. One of the six LDS pageants, Jesus the Christ began in 1928 as a small sunrise Easter presentation. The pageant is now the "largest annual outdoor Easter pageant in the world." With a 450-member cast, the 65-minute pageant depicts the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ using song and dance.
The pageant runs Tuesday through Saturday evenings during the two weeks just before Easter, performing completely in Spanish on the first Saturday evening. No donations are accepted and no tickets are required, although seating is first-come, first-served.
Because of renovation work on the Mesa Arizona Temple and grounds, the Pageant was cancelled for 2019 and 2020. It will return in 2021.
The production began in 1928 as a sunrise Easter service. During its ten-day run in 2005, the pageant performed for more than 150,000 people. It is now the "largest annual outdoor Easter pageant in the world."
The four-story, multi-level stage used for the pageant is a temporary installment on the temple grounds. It takes three weeks to assemble and is disassembled after each Easter season.
Cast and crew
Auditions are required to participate in the pageant, and all cast and crew positions are voluntary. Nearly 1,000 people auditioned in 2013 while only 475 (the largest cast to date) were invited back. While the cast is mostly composed of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, members of several other religious faiths participate in the production each year.
Participation in the pageant is meant to enrich both the viewer and the cast and crew. Before each performance, the cast and crew gather in the chapel adjacent to the Temple grounds for a 1/2 hour-long devotional. A portion of the cast and crew is also assigned to visit with the crowd before and after the production each night.
The director as of November 2012 is Jenee Prince.
- Griffiths, Lawn (2007-03-24). "Mesa Mormon temple prepares for Easter pageant". East Valley Tribune. Archived from the original on September 11, 2007. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- "Mesa Easter Pageant". LDS Church. Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- Fairbanks, Dorothy (2004). "Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant". Meridian Magazine. Archived from the original on 2010-02-07. Retrieved 2008-11-30. External link in
- "World's Largest Annual Outdoor Easter Pageant Draws Crowds Topping 150,000 During 10-Day Run". Business Wire. 2005-03-09. Retrieved 2008-11-30.
- "Auditions". Mesa Easter Pageant. Archived from the original on 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2008-11-30. External link in
- Pageant photo gallery at richardwebbtemples.com