A free outdoor musical celebration of the greatest story ever told!

Please join us for this annual community tradition. The beautiful Easter message is: He lives!

2025 Pageant Information

This free musical dramatization of “Mesa Easter Pageant: Jesus the Christ” will be presented during the two weeks before Easter on the north lawn of the Mesa Arizona Temple, 455 E. Main St. in downtown Mesa. Nearly 9,500 folding chairs will be set up for outdoor seating.

The first week is Wednesday through Saturday, April 9-12.
The second week is Tuesday through Saturday (Easter eve), April 15-19.

If you have a question about the Mesa Easter Pageant, please check the FAQ section below.

If you still have a question, please call the pageant hotline at 480-447-5818 or email [email protected]

Announcements

A video documentary, “Jesus the Christ – Mesa Easter Pageant: Behind the Scenes,” is available on the KSL YouTube channel. Don’t miss this inspiring show!

The Mesa Easter Pageant soundtrack is also available for free listening on: YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and Amazon Music.

Read the pageant song lyrics HERE

Audition Information!

Auditions for cast members in the Mesa Easter Pageant: Jesus the Christ for the 2025 Easter Season will be posted here during September 2024. Check back then for audition info for the 2025 cast. Thank you!

Please Read Here!

No tickets or reservations needed.

Come early to sit on some of the 9,500 chairs provided. Attendees are also encouraged to attend during the first week of performances to avoid the generally larger crowds closer to Easter weekend. Each night’s show begins at 8 p.m. The outdoor area is located on the north lawn of the Mesa Arizona Temple, 101 S. LeSueur in downtown Mesa. Please follow these guidelines for saving seats:

  1. A person MUST be present to save seats.
  2. A person should NOT save more than 4 seats.
  3. Seats being saved will be filled after 7:30 p.m., so everyone should be in their seats by then.
  4. Unattended items left for the purpose of saving seats will be removed and taken to the Visitors’ Center, 455 E. Main St.

Attendees are encouraged to use Valley Metro Light Rail, which has a stop at Mesa Drive/Main Street, within a short walking distance of the venue.

NOTE: 400 headsets will be available at each performance to provide live Spanish interpretation.

Follow and share the event on social media: #mesaeasterpageant #greateststory

MEDIA: To schedule interviews or request photos, please email [email protected]

Come inside the Visitors’ Center!

See some of the exquisite costumes used in the Mesa Easter Pageant and a large mural of the cast and stage. Snap a selfie and share on your social media with #greateststory and #mesaeasterpageant
Please follow Mesa Temple Events on our social media accounts and share our posts with your friends!

2025
Pageant
Dates:

8-9:15 p.m. each evening

April 9-12

Presented in English and American Sign Language.

Spanish: There are 400 headphones are available each evening for Spanish interpretation. Please find them at the top of the stairs on the south side of the seating area.

April 15-19

Presented in English.

Spanish: There are 400 headphones are available each evening for Spanish interpretation. Please find them at the top of the stairs on the south side of the seating area.

Celebrate Easter at the Mesa Temple!  As part of your Easter activities, come visit in person and enjoy the beautiful array of spring flowers on the Mesa Temple grounds.

FAQ

When is it?

The first week is Wednesday through Saturday, March 20-23.
The second week is Tuesday through Saturday (Easter eve), March 26-30. Each evening at 8 p.m.

Can I come early?

Yes, we recommend you come early.  Although there are approximately 9,500 seats, seats closer to the stage fill up early and reserving seats is strongly discouraged.

Is there a dress rehearsal I can attend?

There is a dress rehearsal and the public is welcome to attend; however, spectators who wish to attend the dress rehearsal should expect pauses in the performance and distractions from support operations (such as lighting, sound tests, and staff.) The rehearsal begins after dark.

Will there be some Spanish interpretation offered through headphones? Which nights? How many are available?

Yes, there are about 400 headphone sets available every night, and live Spanish interpretation will be available on all nights. The headsets can be found up the stairs on the south side of the seating area.

Will there be places for us to bring our own blanket to sit on the grass?

There are a few locations where blankets can be placed on grass.  Most locations where blankets may be placed are in locations where it is difficult to see the full stage (e.g., off to the sides and/or far away from the stage).

Is there seating for those with disabilities?

There is no reserved section assigned for those with disabilities.  However, in the middle aisle (behind the area where the donkey will pass by), there is a place on the concrete next to each row where someone may place a wheelchair.  These will be available on a first-come/first-served basis.  The seat on the end will be reserved for a person accompanying the person in the wheelchair.

Can we have food on the temple grounds?

Yes, but we ask that guests be respectful of temple grounds and not leave trash or debris behind them! Trash receptacles will be available at various locations around the pageant site and we ask that you dispose of your trash properly or take it out with you. It’s a HUGE job to clean up each evening!

Can I still audition for the cast?

Auditions for cast members in the Mesa Easter Pageant: Jesus the Christ will be conducted online in the fall for the following year.  Applications and video submissions will be accepted from September 1 to October 1.  Please note: There will be no extension to this deadline. Please check back on this website in September for the online audition form.

Is the temple open for endowment sessions during the weeks of this event?

Yes, but the Mesa Temple will close early at 2:30 p.m. during the days of the event (including dress rehearsal on March 19). Please check for temple appointment availability on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.

What time does it start?

8 p.m. each evening. The performance lasts about 75 minutes.

Where is it presented?

On the north lawn of the Mesa Arizona Temple, 101 S. LeSueur in downtown Mesa.

Is there a night where the Easter presentation is performed in the Spanish language?

At this time, there is no complete Spanish-language version of the presentation.  However, each evening there is live Spanish interpretation of the narration with 400 headsets available to hear that interpretation. Those headsets can be found up the stairs on the south side of the seating area.

Do I need tickets/reservations?

There are no tickets or reservations, but we recommend you and your party come early to secure one of the 9,500 seats available. Also, be aware that typically the first week has more available seating than the second week.

Is there parking for those with disabilities?

Yes. There will be parking for persons with disabilities located in the South Parking lot of the Temple, in the southeast section of the lot. There is a closer drop off location on Hobson just south of the stage.

Is there typically a less busy time to attend the pageant such as the dress rehearsal or mid-week?

The first week has more available seating than the second week. Tuesday and Thursday nights are typically less crowded. Wednesdays are often heavily attended by church youth groups. The weekend of Easter tends to be the most heavily attended shows. We recommend coming at least 1 hour early during the first week and two or more hours early during the second week. Bring something to eat and enjoy the evening!

Is there special seating for those who have difficulty walking and climbing stairs?

No. The areas where there will be the least amount of walking are closest to the edges of the seating area, and these areas tend to fill up last.  Thus, the areas that are easiest to access for those who have difficulty walking and climbing are most usually available.  Please know there are no parking spaces close to the seating area.  You should expect a walk of some distance from the parking locations.

Do you have information on hotels which are close to the temple?

We do not endorse any particular hotels but there are several lodging options within walking distance of the Temple.

What nights will American Sign Language (ASL) be provided?

There will be ASL interpretation each night during the first week of the pageant.  There is an ASL section each night during the first week in the front north seating area.

Where should I park?

Parking will be available in the City’s Park and Ride lot at the northeast corner of Mesa Drive and Main Street just north of the Mesa Temple Visitors Center. We also strongly encourage travel to the Pageant via Valley Metro’s Light Rail System. Light rail park and ride locations are found at Gilbert and Main, Dobson and Main and other locations along the Light Rail route. A Light Rail stop is located just west of the Mesa Temple grounds near the corner of Main Street and Mesa Drive.  Finally, parking is available on surface streets near the temple, but we invite guests to please respect “No parking” signs and residential driveways.

Can I save seats?

  1. A PERSON MUST BE PRESENT TO SAVE SEATS.
  2. A PERSON SHOULD NOT SAVE MORE THAN 4 SEATS.
  3. SEATS MAY NOT BE SAVED AFTER 7:30 PM.
  4. UNATTENDED ITEMS WILL BE REMOVED (AND TAKEN TO THE VISITORS’ CENTER).

Is there stroller parking?

Yes, on the Southwest and Southeast corners.

Will restrooms be provided?

Yes. Portable restrooms will be located ONLY on the west side of the temple grounds near the Visitor’s Center. We discourage the use of the Visitor’s Center restrooms for all except those who have disabilities.

Is there a Valley Metro Light Rail stop near the Temple?

Yes, a light rail stop is located just west of the Mesa Temple grounds near the corner of Main Street and Mesa Drive. Use of the Light Rail to come to the Pageant is encouraged.

Are there accommodations for senior citizens attending the Pageant (e.g., parking or shuttles, as well as seating without arriving extremely early)?

Seating is based on a first-come, first-served basis.  However, one person may reserve up to 4 seats (as long as that person is present).  If a person has difficulty sitting for long periods of time, they can have a family member or friend save their seat until 7:30 p.m. (at which time we will fill any empty seats). There is a closer drop=off location on Hobson just south of the stage.

Area Map

History of “Mesa Easter Pageant: Jesus the Christ”

For more than eight decades, a gathering has occurred on grounds of the Mesa Arizona Temple in downtown Mesa during the Easter season. Many have gathered as cast and crew, giving countless volunteer hours to sharing the life of Jesus Christ on an outdoor stage. Many more have gathered as an audience, to witness and feel the Savior’s powerful message of forgiveness, hope, and peace. The Mesa Easter Pageant—now recognized as the largest annual outdoor Easter pageant in the world—draws tens of thousands of people during the two weeks before Easter.

Jesus The Christ

“Jesus the Christ” is not a passion play focusing on the crucifixion, rather, it is a heartfelt celebration of the life and resurrection of the Savior, and invites all to come unto Him and partake of the “good news” that is His gospel. It’s a very different production from its humble beginnings as a sunrise service in 1938. On that Easter morning, young men and women of Mesa Maricopa Stake’s Mutual Improvement Association, hosted a statewide convention in Mesa, and the culminating event of this festive weekend was an Easter Sunrise Service on the grounds of the temple. From that time on, it became an annual event and a beloved community tradition. The sunrise service continued for nearly 30 years as a choral presentation, featuring sacred music that was linked with a brief narration, focusing on the life of Jesus Christ. It was enhanced immeasurably by the setting and backdrop of His Holy House. In 1967, a more dramatic production debuted, depicting the story of Jesus with a costumed cast posed in tableaux atop a makeshift stage made of cotton trailers. Scenes focused on important moments in the life and mission of the Savior, including His birth, boy Jesus in the temple, Jesus teaching His followers, The Last Supper, Christ praying in Gethsemane, three crosses depicting the crucifixion, the appearance of the resurrected Christ, and His ascension.

Success After Major Renovations

In 1974, the Mesa Temple closed for a major renovation. The following year, Church leaders announced a public open house for the renovated temple. Because Easter fell during the dates of the open house, the First Presidency requested that the sunrise service not be held that year. 1975 would be the only break in its 80-year history. After it returned, and to accommodate ever-growing crowds, the one-day sunrise service blossomed into a two-evening event prior to Easter that featured hundreds involved in the cast and crew, multiple stages, theatrical lighting, live animals, and a new soundtrack recording. The Mesa Easter Pageant debuted in 1977 as an evening production and was titled, “Jesus the Christ.” It was reported a total of 20,000 people attended the two evening shows that year. So successful were the evening performances that pageant officials expanded the following year’s performances to four evenings prior to Easter. This time a total of 40,000 people attended.

Drastic Growth

From then on, the production drastically grew, the script was rewritten several times, new music debuted, costumes were perfected, special effects were added, and people came from across Arizona, the United States and the world. Some years the attendance exceeded 100,000 during the two weeks before Easter. In 1996, the pageant marked another historic milestone. The production, which ran for six nights that year, was presented entirely in Spanish one of the evenings. The Spanish soundtrack had been a work in progress over several years—first the narration and then the lyrics were translated—and the finished program was received with reverence and appreciation. In 2015, Valley Metro Light Rail had been completed east on Mesa’s Main Street, ending at the northwest corner of the temple grounds. Some called this the “temple stop” and it made this destination easier to reach from other parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area, which has nearly 5 million people. Many other downtown Mesa construction projects began about this time, and in the midst of these, officials for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the Mesa Temple would close in May 2018 for the renovation of the structure and surrounding grounds. During this time, the pageant would be suspended.

Pageant Today

During the next few years, plans were implemented to move the pageant stage to the northeast side of the temple grounds with a redesign and underground electrical hookups that would make for easier assembly, as well as landscaping that would accommodate the massive stage and movement of a large cast. The Mesa Easter Pageant resumed in 2022 with a new script and score by local composer Rob Gardner and will be presented annually. The story and spirit of the pageant continue on into the future. From a simple sunrise service to a magnificent production, it has always had the ability to draw many to gather on the sacred grounds of the Mesa Temple. And as they gather, the spirit will continue to touch their hearts and build testimonies because it is the story of the Savior and Redeemer of the world, Jesus Christ, and His message ever brings peace and hope to the souls of all those who will hear Him.

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