Samuel Hatch, a 16 year old from Salt Lake City, thinks the reason he got the plum role of Joseph Smith, the man who discovers the gold tablets which become the Book of Mormon, is his height (6’1”) and his blond hair, which he had to get cut three times for the role during the week-long rehearsals.
The audition process for the Hill Cumorah Pageant happens in half a day, and casts around 750 people who will act out the stories in the Book of Mormon. Acting ability isn’t necessarily the most competitive element – all the voices are pre-recorded on a soundtrack by other actors, and the pageant actors just lip sync while miming.
Hatch’s mother was in the Pageant when she was a teenager, and decided that this year she wanted to bring her family to participate. A lottery system determines which families that apply get to be in the show.
As for next year, he says, “maybe if I come back it would be fun to try for one of the roles of the bad guys.”