The Mesa Easter Pageant returns in April 2022
For more than eight decades, a gathering has occurred on the beautiful and peaceful grounds of the Mesa Arizona Temple in downtown Mesa during the Easter season. Many gather as an audience while the cast and crew—giving countless volunteer hours—share the Biblical account of the life, death and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ on an outdoor stage. Together, all see and feel Christ’s powerful message of forgiveness, hope and peace.
In May of 2018, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the Mesa Temple would close for the renovation of the structure and surrounding grounds. During this time, presentation of the pageant was suspended.
In the interim, plans were implemented to move the pageant stage to the northeast side of the temple grounds. The stage was also redesigned to accommodate new landscaping and better facilitate stage construction and cast movement.
Pageant leaders are thrilled to now announce that the FREE in-person Mesa Easter Pageant is slated to resume in April 2022 with new sets, script and music. The world premiere is April 6. Following, it will be presented nightly at 8 p.m. April 7-9, 12-16.
The pageant script and score have been rewritten under the direction of writer and composer Rob Gardner. The music for the soundtrack was recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra in January.
Singing voices and narration were recorded locally.
The massive stage’s construction began Jan. 10 and cast rehearsals begin in March.
“Our purpose is to bring others closer to the Savior,” said pageant creative director Jenee Prince. “We want others to get to know Him, to feel His love and to feel more hope and peace.”
Gardner, whose recent work includes “Lamb of God: The Concert Film,” said, “It’s been an intense last few months taking on the weighty task of writing a new soundtrack for the Easter Pageant. But the writing is done and it was exciting to record with the London Symphony Orchestra. Making music with them is always a thrilling experience, they bring such artistry and power to everything they perform.”
The Mesa Easter Pageant—now recognized as the largest annual outdoor Easter pageant in the world—draws tens of thousands of people at this free community event during the two weeks before Easter. All are invited to gather and celebrate the story of the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ taken from the King James Version of the New Testament.
“This is a very different production from its humble beginnings as a sunrise service in 1938,” said Jill Adair, communications director for Mesa Temple events. “On that Easter morning, young men and women of the Mesa Maricopa Stake hosted a statewide convention, 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, moving from sunrise to an evening production in 1977.”
The new Mesa Easter Pageant premieres April 6, followed by eight additional evenings of performances. Pageant dates and details are as follows: April 6–9, 12-16; each night’s show begins at 8 p.m.
Other important info:
• 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.
• The outdoor area is located on the north lawn of the Mesa Arizona Temple, 101 S. LeSueur in downtown Mesa.
• 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.
• Follow and post your photos on social media: #mesaeasterpageant #mesaeasterpageant2022 #greateststory