By Emily West, Correspondent
On Wednesday March 23, the students of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor performed the 77th annual Easter Pageant. With three showings throughout the day, (12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.) the bleachers and lawn were packed time and time again with eagerly attentive Bell County locals. The pageant involved nearly 300 students, including cast, prop makers, costume designers, and set workers. In keeping with UMHB’s mission, this annual show prepares students for “leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society.”
“I’ve known a lot of college students who come from Belton, and they don’t feel like it’s Easter until they come to the Easter Pageant. Being a part of the school and being that connected to the University is, to me, one of the most precious things about the job I have,” stated Mike McCarthy, the Director of Campus Activities at UMHB. McCarthy also affirmed that this annual performance is an event that closely binds the communities the town and the campus: “I think that our students’ practicing and preparing and signing up to work on this pageant is really for the community, not just for their fellow students. From the college students’ perspective, in the show, they’re doing this for the community.”
Jacob Burlingame, a sophomore in UMHB’sMusic Education department, filled the role of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father. When asked what made the many hours of commitment worthwhile, Burlingame eagerly responded: “The Gospel! I was a part of it last year and saw lives being transformed (as my line says) through the power of this story like nothing you’ve ever heard before. It’s incredible to be in the life of Christ!” Burlingame informed the Journal that he dedicated over six hours a week to the pageant and that those in more involved roles, such as Mary or the disciples of Christ, dedicated even more time and work.
“The cast and crew work like a well-oiled machine. No one part or job is less than another. If one part lacks, the entire show suffers. All of us put in 110% to ensure that this show is the best it can possibly be. We’ve spent hours upon hours rehearsing the show, making the costumes, making props, and creating the set. But, honestly the most important thing that we’ve all put into the show is our love for Jesus which has only grown stronger day by day through devotionals and simply worshiping the Lord together,” said Brook Shuck, a sophomore Psychology student. “It is the red letters of the Gospel. All the sacrifice and hard work and the heart behind the work and the reason why they do it, is all just strengthening the actual words that are said in the Bible, as a part of the pageant,” assented McCarthy. For more information on Student Activities on UMHB campus, visit http://students.umhb.edu/activities/