What began as a local communityís
depiction of the events of Easter week, the Marion Easter Pageant has
grown into a world renowned religious festival. Begun in 1937 as a
project for inter-church youth groups, the Pageant has become a
production involving the talents and services of more than 2000
people. This would not have been possible without the dedication and
vision of the leaders in the community.
Each year, during the Lenten season, the Marion community and the
surrounding areas look forward to renewing acquaintances and meeting
new workers who have come to be in the "Pageant." Although many in the
cast have been with the Pageant for several years, with some of the
members dating from the very first Pageant, there is a turnover of
about one-third of the participants each year.
Anyone can become involved in the Pageant. New people in Marion
community are invited to share in the production whether it is by
seeing it or helping to present it.
The Pageant is the rare experience where
no one is all-important and yet each individual is very important.
Men, and women, and children of all ages, in all walks of life come to
share their talents in presenting this Passion play. Each person is
anonymous - no names are mentioned, no salaries are paid. Despite
this, or rather because of this, the Pageant has become the over-all
driving force of Marionís Easter season as well as the message of
Easter for millions of radio listeners and the thousands of travelers
to come from many states and countries to see the Pageant.
This nonprofit corporation receives guidance from a Board of
Directors, which is composed of 26 members. These men and women
represent the leadership of the community. Working with the Board of
Directors is an Executive Secretary who is responsible for the
administration and coordination of the many and varied activities that
come under the name of "Pageant." The Pageant is people; made up of
people giving of their free time to work as electricians, cast and
crew members, costume designers musicians and scenery builders. The
Pageant is not sponsored or financed by any one organization; rather
it is truly a community effort dependent upon the generosity and
concern of churches, businesses, industries and individuals who have
felt a closeness to the Pageant. Donations are more than just money.
Time, storage space, use of facilities and much of the actual
equipment are all significant contributions to each year's production.