Each year the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) puts on numerous outdoor theatrical productions. These pageants tell the story of Jesus Christ and His divine role and mission, enact stories from the Book of Mormon, or tell stories from Church history.
The pageants are generally started by local Church leaders in places where certain historic events took place or near Mormon temples. A narrator usually tells the story. Sometimes the music is provided by a live on-site symphony, but most of the pageants use originally composed music that is prerecorded and then broadcast over an audio system. Church member volunteers perform the pageants. Admissions to pageants is free and anyone is welcome to attend. Most pageants start after it is dark enough outside to use lighting equipment.
The Arizona Easter Pageant
Jesus the Christ is performed in Mesa, Arizona. The focus of this pageant is a reenactment of Jesus' life as told in the King James Version of the Bible. This pageant began as a sunrise service to commemorate the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His Resurrection and has become an annual pageant.
The Castle Valley Pageant
This pageant is located in Castle Dale, Utah, and is an historical reenactment of the settling of a pioneer village. The event follows a family as they begin homesteading on new land and explains some of what Mormons believe as settlers teach a Native American family about the gospel. Before the pageant you can also visit Pioneer Village, which teaches the crafts and vocations that were needed to make a new settlement work.
The Clarkston Pageant
Martin Harris: The Man Who Knew is performed in Clarkston, Utah. Set in the 1800's, the pageant tells the story of Martin Harris, who risked all he had to finance and print the Book of Mormon. He was also one of the three witnesses to see the gold plates and bear witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
The Hill Cumorah Pageant
America's Witness for Christ is performed in Palmyra, New York. It tells the story of God's people in the Americas found in the Book of Mormon. This is one of the largest pageants with a cast of about 650 costumed members.
The Mormon Miracle Pageant
This pageant is presented in Manti, Utah, at the foot of the Manti Temple. This pageant begins with scenes from the Book of Mormon and tells the story of Joseph Smith and the struggles his followers endured to practice their beliefs.
The Nauvoo Pageant
This pageant is performed in Nauvoo, Illinois. A new pageant was created in 2005 to commemorate the life of Joseph Smith. It is a spectacular sight to see along with the other free attractions offered in Nauvoo.
The Oakland Temple Pageant
Performed in Oakland, California, this pageant included a full symphony orchestra, 450 voice chorus, dancers, stage chorus, soloists, and actors. Through these talented individuals the story of Christ's Church was told, starting with Christ and His teachings down to the restoration of the Church and Joseph Smith. The Church has suspended production of The Oakland Temple Pageant