In 1633, Germany was gripped by war and the plague and the villagers of a small community in Bavaria called Oberammergau, in southern Germany, prayed for their community to be spared and vowed to put on a ‘passion play’ every ten years.
Their survival is known all over Europe and ever since; the villagers have carried out their ancestors’ wishes. The performance takes a year of devotion for some 2,000 plus villagers who perform and work in the production. Only villagers have been allowed to take part during the last four centuries of production. And that is what will happen in 2010. Their very life changes as they re-enacting the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The actor portraying Jesus Christ is a psychologist in real life, while Mary Magdalene is a flight attendant. Like everyone else in the village, ‘Jesus’ and ‘Mary’ are ordinary people. By taking on the roles, they are fulfilling the promise to God made by their ancestors, celebrating their faith and sharing it with the world.
Oberammergau is still a small community and about half the inhabitants will take part in this performance. In 2010, as the villagers bring the story of Jesus of Nazareth to life for audiences from around the world for the 41st time, the performances will have a newly updated theatre to perform in. This play lasts for five hours in an impressive open-air stage. There is a three-hour intermission for dinner, during which you’ll dine at the Turmwirt Hotel, located in the center of town just walking distance from the theater. New for 2010, the theater has added radiant heat under the seats for cool evenings.
The play starts with Jesus entering Jerusalem, continues up to his death on the cross and finishes with his resurrection. This is an extraordinary community effort.
The Performance in 2010 sees a new production, directed by Christian Stückl – a local, who is also manager of Munich’s outstanding Volkstheater. He is supported by the artistic team that staged the Passion Play in 2000: Deputy director and dramatic adviser Otto Huber, set and costume designer Stefan Hageneier and music directors Markus Zwink and Michael Bocklet. Again, all are from Oberammergau.
The actors were announced in April of this year (2009) and rehearsals last ten months. Already working on the revised text are the villagers selected to play Jesus and Mary, Pontius Pilate (our Hotel owner George Glas was once Pontius Pilate. Be sure to talk with him about his experience.) and the apostles, the priests, soldiers and children. The orchestra and the choir are studying the memorable score, composed in the 19th century by Rochus Dedler, again a resident of Oberammergau. When all this comes together, their devotion and talent retells the story of Jesus Christ, with a message that gives hope and strength to millions.
Don’t miss your opportunity to see this once in a lifetime event. Book your packages early to make sure you get the best. Great seats and a hotel within walking distance to the play is what Wilcox World Travel and Tours is known for. Now for their 7th performance, spanning almost 50 years, you too can be part of history that only a small few visitors from the thousands that attend each performance have, an H1 category seat in the theatre and a local, within walking distance, hotel.
In 2010, we’re featuring the Passion Play in Oberammergau in three different tours, each offered on a variety of dates. All of our tours include hotel accommodations in the centre of town at the quaint and cozy Turmwirt Hotel , within walking distance to the Passion Play Theatre.