What You Need to Know About the Oberammergau Passion Play 2020
In 1633, the town of Oberammergau, Bavaria was being ravaged by the bubonic plague. As their friends, neighbors and family members were succumbing to the deadly disease, the local residents started to pray to God. They promised that if God saved them from the sickness, they would continue to produce a play thereafter every 10 years forever, depicting the life and death of Jesus Christ.
Miraculously, the death rate dropped and the plague faded away. The villagers believed that God had spared them and they kept their promise. The first Oberammergau Passion Play was performed in 1634 and it has been performed ever since, making it the longest running play in history. Audiences come from all over the world to see this amazing tradition.
The play is now performed over the course of five months (from May to September) in every year that ends in a zero. The last performance was 2010 and the next will take place in 2020. For each speaking part in the play there are two actors and the different parts are often handed down through families, with actors taking the same part that their father or grandfather played before them.
Do you dream of witnessing this special religious production? Read on to find out more!
The incredible Oberammergau Passion Play is a huge project, requiring the work of over 2,000 village residents who lend their skills as performers, stage technicians and musicians. The play is performed in a stunning open-air theatre which seats 4,700 people, with the picturesque Alpine mountains as the backdrop.
The play tells a story that many Christians will be deeply familiar with – the tale of Jesus and his trial, death on the cross and Resurrection. The story involves crowds of people, children, babies, sheep, donkeys and even a camel – at times there can be up to 200 people on stage.
The text and the music have been updated over the 400 year run of the play, but the main concept has remained intact. The current music for the play was composed in the early 19th century and involves a huge choir and orchestra, creating a powerful and dramatic effect. For Christian travelers, or anyone who appreciates theatre, artistry and tradition, it’s a truly impressive sight to behold.
You can reach Oberammergau in about 3 hours of travel time by train from Munich. Indus Travels offers packages to see this much-celebrated play. These packages will include tickets, accommodation, the special Passion Play Menu dinner and free shuttle buses to and from the performance as well as the chance to go and see other German cities such as Munich.