Photo by Brian: Volunteer performance artists
bring Gilbert and Sullivan's Mikado trading cards
to life at the Laguna Pageant of the Masters
Photo by Brian: The magic of the Pageant of the
Masters comes to life as teenage volunteers stand
perfectly still portraying 18th century Meissen figurines.
Treat Your Family This Summer
to Laguna's Pageant of the Masters
This years 75th Pageant of the Masters Festival in
On press night, June 2, the crowd was treated to an insider’s view of what it takes to put on this yearly show which is manned almost entirely by volunteers, many of whom have been coming back year after year to participate.
The “living pictures” of the Pageant can certainly fool the eye, enough so that one has a difficult time determining where the painted backdrop and the live figures in the “painting” divulge from each other. When portraying art, one is amazed at the way these volunteers can stand in place not moving a muscle or changing facial expressions. Imagine for yourself, teenagers standing perfectly still as 18th century
Two casts rotate weekly for the entire summer. Both casts must be the same size and of the same appearance to fit into one costume to portray the same painting or statue. The materials which make up the costumes are made so that they can mold easily into the exact folds of what they are in the original piece of art. Before showing to the audience, volunteers with a copy of the original art piece in hand, pose each figure to look exactly like the original. The result is such that one is looking at a piece of art brought to life in three dimensions by actual human beings.
One display which is being staged this year is from the
The casting call for volunteers goes out in early January. Children as young as four and some up to the age of ninety have either volunteered as human art works or behind the stage as volunteers, from building sets to applying makeup, ushering, to coordinating the costume changes. When interviewing some of the volunteers, one woman stated, “I’m a young volunteer, I’ve only been here for twelve years. Others have been here for more than thirty years”. There is something for everyone to volunteer for if they get the “call” to the Pageant.
Tickets for the Pageant of the Masters are available on their website http://foapom.com/ or by phone at