Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mesa Easter Pageant

Thursday night we met up with a few of the newlywed couples to enjoy the Easter Pageant. If your not from Arizona, let me explain to you what the Easter Pageant is. (I stole this off of their official site and it explains it much better than I could.)

The Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant, “Jesus the Christ,” presents the life, ministry, and mission of Jesus Christ through music, dance, and drama.

What began as an Easter sunrise service on top of a cotton wagon in 1928, has now become the largest, annual, outdoor Easter Pageant in the world.

“Jesus the Christ” is not a passion play focusing on the crucifixion, rather a celebration of the resurrection of the Savior.

Each year, people travel from throughout the world to see this spirit-filled and beautiful one-hour outdoor production.

Admission is free, and no donations are accepted. There are no tickets required. The LDS Church presents the Pageant as an Easter celebration and a “gift to the community.”

For the nine formal performances, nightly audiences range from about 4,000 to 12,000 people, with the most crowded nights being the final Friday and Saturday nights.

The pageant was first held in 1928, as a choral sunrise service atop a wooden cotton wagon. The presentation was not held during some of the war years but has been held every year since. Today, it has evolved into a full-scale, professional theater production, with a 9,600 square-foot stage, towering four stories high.
There are approximately 450 people in the cast – men, women, and children of all ages. Another 400 people donate their time and efforts as production staff. No one is paid; this is strictly a volunteer effort. Many of the production committees work year-round to prepare for the production. Actors come to rehearsals at night and on Saturdays after working their day jobs or attending school. More than 1,000 people typically audition for the Pageant each year.

You can enjoy the pageant one of two ways. Either by sitting in the thousands of seats set up or by laying on blankets on the outskirts of the lawn. We opted to have a picnic on the outskirts of the lawn and brought pizza and banana bread to make the night complete. The production was fabulous as always and thank you to all of those cast members that have devoted so much time to make it great for all of us. If your not from Arizona, you should really try to make it down here one Easter to experience the Pageant, it is truly a magnificent production.
While we were waiting for the pageant to start the guys walked to Dairy Queen to get some yummy ice cream. Thanks everyone, we had a great night, when we doing something again?

Brent & Lexi McDowell

The "Bizzys"
Megan & Seth Miller
Eric Salisbury, sorry you couldn't make it Tory............ Seth enjoying his DQ