"America's Witness for Christ," a religious pageant based on the Book of Mormon, will have a new director, a new script, a new musical score and new staging this year.
Charles L. Metten, Brigham Young University professor of theater, speech and cinema, will direct the pageant, to be presented July 22, 23 and 26-30, at Hill Cumorah in western New York.He will be assisted by Rodger Sorenson, chairman of the Ricks College drama department in Rexburg, Idaho, and Gerald Argetsinger, a theater teacher at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, operated by the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology.
Orson Scott Card, Greensboro, N.C., wrote the new pageant script. The musical score has been completely rewritten by Crawford Gates, Beloit, Wis., and recorded by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony. Eric Fielding, Orem, is designing new sets.
Based on the experiences of Christian prophets in ancient America, the pageant has attracted millions of spectators for more than 50 years. In 1936 a pageant, "Truth from the Earth," was staged at Hill Cumorah, with "America's Witness for Christ" making its debut in 1937. Harold I. Hansen of the BYU faculty was the director for more than four decades. Other directors have included Jack Sederholm and Lund Johnson.