MANCHESTER, N.Y. — While soccer fans from much of the rest of the world were trying to make their way to her home country for the latter stages of the World Cup, Kim Brown was traveling from just north of Johannesburg, South Africa, to a hillside between the villages of Manchester and Palmyra.

One of more than 800 volunteers who will participate in the Hill Cumorah Pageant this week, Brown didn't hesitate to make vacation plans when informed that she and her 6-year-old son's application had been accepted, and they'd be a part of the cast.

"South Africa was very vibrant, but the energy here is far better," said Brown, who watched the pageant from the audience for the first time last year. "We left for something that's more exciting for us."

The outdoor pageant, known for its elaborate costumes, special effects and soundtrack, starts today.

Presented by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the formal name for the Mormon church — the pageant features 10 scenes from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Of the pageant's more than 800 volunteers, about 700 are cast members, who arrived last week from all over the world to start rehearsing for the performance.

Gregory Doyle is a Victor resident, but, like Brown, he also traveled halfway around the world to be here. An army specialist who has been deployed in Afghanistan since February, Doyle used his 15 days of leave to come home, rehearse and perform.

Read the rest of the story at The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle