Belton, Texas - On Wednesday, April 17, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will host its 80th annual Easter Pageant. There will be performances at 12:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. in front of Luther Memorial on the UMHB campus. All three performances will be free and open to the public.
The pageant will be available live online on the UMHB Facebook page and at umhb.edu/live.
The Easter Pageant chronicles moments from the Gospel story, including Christ’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, and Christ’s trial by Pontius Pilate, crucifixion, death, and resurrection. This event has become a tradition for many Central Texas families and is expected to attract thousands of visitors.
The production is student-led and features a cast of hundreds of students and children and grandchildren of university students, faculty, and staff. Each year, UMHB President Randy O’Rear selects a student to direct the pageant and two students to play the key roles of Jesus and Mary. This selection has nothing to do with acting or singing ability. Instead it is based on the strong Christian faith and character of those selected.
Katie Aday has served as this year’s pageant’s director. Joey Mainini will portray Jesus, and Savannah Sepulveda will take on the role of Mary.
Pageant organizers caution that the 5:30 p.m. show is usually the most popular, so visitors are encouraged to attend earlier performances if possible. Audiences are also encouraged to bring sunscreen, as umbrellas are prohibited.
The tradition of the annual Easter Pageant at UMHB began in 1940 when it was held during the afternoon on Easter Sunday. At that time, Mary Hardin-Baylor was an all-female campus, so all of the roles were played entirely by women. Over time, the production expanded to include male students and additional performances.