The Pageant is organized with a musical director
who is responsible for rehearsing and conducting the inspirational
one-hour musical score, and drama director who is responsible for
coordinating the activities of the cast with the technical crews for
this dramatic presentation.
Each person who works with the Pageant is a key member of the
organization. Much work goes on behind the scenes during the six or
seven weeks preceding Easter. These people fit, clean and press
costumes; adjust and install sound and lights; refurbished scenery and
properties; apply make-up; type cast lists and letters, and rehearse
every detail of the presentation. Although the floor of Marionís
Memorial Coliseum seems to be magically transformed into the streets
of Jerusalem, many hours of intensive work have gone into each area of
the Good Friday evening and Sunday morning sunrise presentations.
The Pageant is unique in that no spoken commentary
is ever used. The moving story of the last week of the life of Christ
on earth is told entirely with pantomime, pageantry and the music of
great anthems and familiar hymns. The presentation begins with the
Palm Sunday entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem. The story,
presented in six separate scenes, transports the audience through the
joys, sufferings, trials, and sorrows leading to Resurrection morning.
The Pageant concludes the one-hour performance in a mighty burst of
praise with the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handelís Messiah which
expresses the universal exultation of all Christendom.
Each minute detail of the Pageant has been carefully researched and
authenticated in historical accuracy and in keeping with the
traditions of great religious art. Such widely separated details as
the right color of a rock or the breastplate for a high priest had
been checked and researched from many sources. The scenes of the Last
Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the trial before Pontius Pilate, and
the Resurrection have been patterned after the religious works of such
great artists as Sallman and Leonardo DaVinci.