Oberammergau - Passion Play in 2020

Oberammergau - Passion Play in 2020

The Oberammergau Passion Play is a passion play performed since 1634 as a tradition by the inhabitants of the Bavarian village of Oberammergau. Since its very first production it has been performed on open-air stages in the village. The text of the play is a composite of four distinct manuscripts dating from the 15th and 16th centuries.

The play is a staging of Jesus' passion, covering the short final period of his life from visiting Jerusalem and leading to his crucifixion.

In 1633, the residents of Oberammergau vowed that if God spared them from the bubonic plague ravaging the region, they would produce a play thereafter for all time every 10 years depicting the life and death of Jesus. Since the death rate subsided from 1000 per year in 1632 to one only six months later, the villagers believed they had been spared and they kept their part of the vow when the play was first performed in 1634.

The play is now performed repeatedly over the course of five months during every year ending in zero. The production involves over 2.000 performers, musicians and stage technicians, all rof whom must be residents of the village. The play comprises of spoken dramatic text, musical and choral accompaniment and tableaux vivants, which are scenes from the Old Testament depicted for the audience by motionless actors accompanied by verbal description.