The Mission Play, John Steven McGroarty's contribution to California culture, tells the story of Junipero Serra, the Franciscan priest responsible for the founding of eight of the twenty-one coastal Catholic missions in Alta California, between 1769 and 1782. First performed on August 29, 1912, McGroarty's play ran for more than 20 years and was viewed by more than 2½ million people, setting an attendance record, in its time, for any one production. The play's long run gave rise to the slogan, "If you haven't been to see the Mission Play, you haven't seen California." McGroarty gained considerable acclaim when Henry Van Dyke, Professor of English Literature at Princeton University, declared that the Mission Play "stands as the greatest of all the world's pageant dramas." The front cover features a view of the Mission Playhouse in San Gabriel, California. 11 x 8.5 in. paper.