By Cecily Markland
Every year, in a splash of rich colors, inspiring music, dance and drama, the Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant brings to life the miracles and mission of Jesus Christ.
Known as the largest outdoor Easter pageant in the world, the Mesa Pageant offers a powerful reminder of the true messages of Easter.
“We have access to so many things with just ‘one click’ on our computers and our phones, it is easy to get wrapped up in our busy lives and lose sight of what is truly important,” says pageant director, Jenee Prince. “Our desire is that those who come to the pageant will leave feeling more joy, more love, more hope, and more acceptance through the atonement of our Savior.”
Every year, the pageant comes with fresh opportunities to build testimonies and to draw nearer to Christ.
“I have seen the pageant many, many times over the past 10 years,” Jenee says. “I know the soundtrack and entrance cues by heart, but I am always amazed at how many ‘new’ things I see and feel each time I watch the pageant. The pageant strengthens my testimony and expands my understanding of my Savior.”
She says all who attend can have that same experience.
“Families can expect to feel the spirit touch their hearts many times during the pageant. I think it’s important for parents to talk to their children about the Holy Ghost and the good feelings they will have.”
Jenee adds that parents can help their children understand the various pageant scenes.
“If parents explain the Last Supper, it will take on new meaning as their children watch it portrayed during the pageant. The same holds true for the 10 Virgins parable, the Triumphal Entry and the other scenes.”
“Like reading the scriptures, rather than looking for something new in the pageant, what needs to change are our own eyes and hearts, so we see it anew,” says event spokesman, Stephen Harms. “The pageant lets the community know that we, as members of the Church, believe in Christ. It also allows the light of Christ to reach and lift every individual who attends.”
For that reason, he suggests, “Bring someone who hasn’t been to church in a while, who hasn’t been able to feel the spirit in their lives for some time, or who has never had a chance to know Christ. Bring those who were invited to the temple open house and would now like to know more,” Harms says.
The website, at www.easterpageant.org, includes information and frequently asked questions as well as a video clip that can be shared. Also use the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MesaEasterPageant) to share the pageant with friends and family.
This year, the 65-minute performances begin at 8 p.m., with English performances March 25, 26, 27 and March 31 through April 4 and a Spanish performance March 28. ASL translation will be available March 25 through 27.
The pageant is performed on the north lawn of the Visitors’ Center, 525 E. Main Street. Admission is free and free parking is available on adjacent streets, with handicap parking and tour bus parking in the lot east of the Visitors’ Center.