Gary Diskin - Nov 30, 2020
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Passion Play Theatre Oberammergau (Passion Play Oberammergau / Kienberger)

The history of the Oberammergau Passion Play starts in 1633. In the middle of the Thirty Years‘ War, after years of suffering and dying of the plague, the people of Oberammergau vowed to enact the »play of the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ« every ten years. At Pentecost 1634, they fulfilled their promise for the first time.

Oberammergau (Ammergauer Alpen GmbH / Florian Wagner) Oberammergau (Ammergauer Alpen GmbH / Florian Wagner)

Even in the middle of the 18th century, spectators travelled from all parts of Germany to Oberammergau, attracted by the great power and charisma of the Play. Nowadays, the Oberammergau Passion Play is considered one of the most important religious and cultural events in Germany and listed as intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO.

The 42nd Oberammergau Passion Play 2022

Following the 10 year rhythm, the 42nd Passion Play would have taken place in 2020. Due to the Coronavirus-pandemic, it had to be postponed for two years. 103 performances are planned for the Passion Play in 2022. The village expects around 450,000 visitors from all over the world.

In 2022, the municipality of Oberammergau will perform the Play, which the people from Oberammergau have carried through the centuries in a unique continuity. More than 2,400 local amateur actors, singers and musicians and thus almost half of the villagers, will give a voice and face to the story of Jesus of Nazareth in a five-hour performance on the impressive open-air stage of the Passion Play Theatre, which is the world’s largest and listed as a monument since 2020.

The Staging

Jesus enters Jerusalem (Passion Play Oberammergau / Birgit Gudjonsdottir)

Play director Christian Stückl and his team will stage the Play for the 4th time. The stage and costume designer Stefan Hageneier redesigned the stage of the Passion Play Theatre for the production, conceptualized the scenery and the 12 Living Images (tableaux vivants) and created new costumes for the 2,000 actors. The workshops of the theatre have been working on the implementation of the designs for more than a year.

The musical director Markus Zwink has revised parts of the passion music and also composed new pieces of music for the Passion Play 2022, which will be performed by the hundred strong choir and the orchestra.

Jesus in Bethany (Passion Play Oberammergau / Birgit Gudjonsdottir) Jesus in Bethany (Passion Play Oberammergau / Birgit Gudjonsdottir)

Director Christian Stückl comprehensively edited the text for the next Passion Play in recent months and continues so until 2022. In the tradition of the Passion Play, the passion story of Jesus has always been the focus of the performance. Already in the past Passion Plays, director Stückl put a greater focus on the message and the life of Jesus of Nazareth. This will be further extended in the 2022 Passion Play and Stückl especially highlights the social aspects in Jesus' message. Jesus' work on the margins of society, his commitment to the forgotten, the displaced and the poor, forms the centre of the production.

Tickets and Information

Way of the Cross (Passion Play Oberammergau / Birgit Gudjonsdottir)

The Passion Play Oberammergau takes place from 14 May until 2 October 2022. Tickets only and packages with accommodation and ticket (so-called arrangements) are available online:
or via phone: +49 (0)8822 835 93 30 (Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm CET).

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