Behind the scenes at the Nauvoo Pageant

Each summer 20 young men arrive in Nauvoo, Ill., to participate in the Nauvoo Pageant. Rather than sing and dance on stage, they assist behind the scenes as the pageant work crew.

These young men build and dismantle, handle props and lighting, lay sod, fill water barrels, set up and take down thousands of chairs, and assist with other duties during hot, humid weather and frequent summer storms. The pageant is an evening performance put on every Tuesday through Saturday beginning July 6. It closes for the season July 31.

Nauvoo Pageant work crew members pay their own way to serve for 21 days as setup or strike (dismantle) crews. "Most of them come without a full understanding of what they will be doing," Kathy Folkman said. She and her husband Dave are the Pageant work crew directors. "We tell our young men they will be sweatier, dirtier, hotter, wetter and more bone-weary tired than they have ever been … and they will love every minute of it."

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