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It takes a village of volunteers to produce the Nauvoo Pageant

According to the Nauvoo Pageant page on LDS.org, more than 1,100 volunteers work on the pageants every summer — nearly as many people as live in Nauvoo itself. (The 2010 census lists a total of 1,149 residents in Nauvoo).

The performers at the pageants consist of the “core cast,” who portray major characters and most speaking parts, and therefore remain for the duration of the pageants; Young Performing Missionaries, who as part of their assignment perform in many productions in Nauvoo, including in the pageant and in the Nauvoo Band; and the “family cast,” who are volunteer Church members who remain at the pageants for two weeks at a time — one week to learn their parts, cues and dances, and the second to perform and teach the new cast following them. (Members can apply to be in the family cast online at nauvoopageant.org).

There is also the Nauvoo Pageant Bagpipe Band, which performs at many locations in Nauvoo and the surrounding communities, and includes volunteers who accompany the band in order to speak with interested guests while the band plays.

Besides the performers, the pageants rely on many others to function. There is the work crew, who help maintain the technical and mechanical side of the pageant; the costuming team, who fit the costumes to the cast and prepare them for each new group; family support, who help take care of volunteers’ children during specific parts of the day; food preparation teams for the pageant headquarters; photographers who document the pageant and the work surrounding it; translators who make the pageants accessible for Spanish-speaking visitors; and security and maintenance workers.

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