Summarized by Kent Larsen
Mormons flock to area for pageant
Rochester NY Democrat & Chronicle 7Jul00 A1
By Donna Jackel: Democrat and Chronicle
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK -- The 63rd Hill Cumorah Pageant opened July 7th
with its depiction of 10 scenes outlining the story of the Book of
Mormon and its translation. And the show may see record crowds this
year because of the opening of the Palmyra Temple.
The historic sites around Palmyra report a 30% increase in visitors
since the Temple opened, and the LDS Bookstore in Palmyra, the
Cumorah county bookstore, says its business has more than doubled.
Beverly Williams, owner of the store, says she is moving to larger
quarters as a result.
The Pageant is produced and performed by volunteers who apply by mail
in December each year for parts or positions. Many are turned away,
such as the bulk of the 100 who sought to build the pageant's sets.
Only 24 were accepted. All the actors and stagehands pay their own
way, spending about $1,000 each to sleep in campgrounds and
dormitories for the show.
Rehearsals for the performance started July 1st, just one week before
the performances started, a feat aided by the use of multiple
directors, according to BYU professor of theater Rodger Sorenson, who
is the pageant's artistic director. He oversees four other directors,
two choreographers and a "battlemaster," who plans the battle scenes
in the pageant. Running eight rehearsals at a time, the show somehow
manages to get off the ground.