The Mysterious Pageant Play at Oakland University- With Video

Originally done by European clergy in Latin, the medieval Pageant Play “style” offered towns a chance to celebrate the holiday, have fun, and witness scenes from the Bible. Rochester area residents now have an opportunity to enjoy the Pageant Play on the campus of Oakland University by the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.


Over time, the Pageant shrank the serious tone that the clergy had intended it to be as local guilds took over the performances. It became an annual tradition surrounding the holiday. Now performed in the common language of the audience, the event was a celebration that most looked forward to.

Instead of being performed from the backs of moving wagons throughout towns and villages, audiences will move from scene-to-scene at various locations staged around Varner Hall, both inside and outside. Familiar stories from the New and Old Testaments will entertain the entire family.

A couple of hundred students are involved in this massive production. For most residents, this play will more than likely be a one-time chance to observe such a performance. The full-cycle play lasts eight hours and is offered only two Saturdays, April 9 and 16, from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Shorter excerpts will run April 13, 14, and 15 at 8:00 p.m. and will feature The New Play Festival and The Nativity Plays.

Student Theater surpasses new heights with music and dance at Oakland University for a limited time. Plenty of free parking is available and the full-cycle Saturday performances will include a medieval buffet.

If you go …

Varner Hall
Oakland University
Rochester, MI
Runs April 9 & 16, 2011 from 2:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
Ticket price ranges:  $24.00–32.00 (includes medieval buffet)
Shortened weekday excerpts are available on April 13, 14, 15 for $13.00 ($7.00 for students) and start at 8:00 p.m.
To Purchase Tickets:
Varner Box Office
Open 3:00–6:00 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and for one hour before show
For More Information:
By Michael Dwyer
About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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