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Looking Forward to the Oberammergau Passion Play
In a Newsletter released on December 20, 2021, the Passion Play team highlighted preparations for the upcoming production, which is scheduled to begin in May. The Newsletter provides a detailed overview of the Play’s centuries-long history, a closer look into the lives of the actors and production assistants, and an optimistic outlook on the 2022 production. The full newsletter can be viewed in its original format here: A special edition on the Oberammergau 2022 Passion Play
See the Play
With thousands of 206 Pilgrims booked and looking forward to the Oberammergau Passion Play, we’re gearing up for one of our biggest years yet. Most tours are sold out, however, limited space remains available on several select departures detailed here: Oberammergau Pilgrimages
206 Tours’ Favorite Highlights
In an article titled, “Excitement before the world event” the directing team is interviewed with specific regard to how the original Oberammergau Passion Play was initiated 400 years ago in response to a pandemic, a concept that has now returned to the forefront of our lives. The team acknowledged how our current situation has mirrored the plaque in the 1630s ago and has in many ways connected them to the feelings of desperation that the original townspeople of Oberammergau must have felt when they initially prayed to God to spare them and promised this play in thanksgiving.
When asked, “Do you think audiences in 2022 will be more receptive to the Passion story because of the Corona crisis?” Set and Costume Designer Stefan Hageneier answered;
“The pandemic changes everything, the view on the Play and the staging. Still – that’s what’s great about it – it’s a great narrative with great themes that have survived centuries. It will also survive Covid-19. The plague as the core of its origin story naturally gives the Passion Play this very special character, which has a lot to do with the pandemic anyway.”
Hear from the Stars
In an article titled, “The role is about inner conflict” the two actors who will play Jesus, Frederik Mayet and Rochus Rückel, are interviewed about their experience and outlook. In the interview, both actors express optimism and confidence that the play will go on as planned this summer, even with the continuation of the pandemic. The actors say the open-air theatre will be key as similar open-air festivals in Salzburg and Bregenz were successful in 2021. After months of preparation, both actors also agree that put down the playbooks in March of 2020 when the play was postponed. This year, they feel as though they’re not picking up where they left off but starting a brand-new production. As it had globally, the effects of the pandemic have significant effects on all of us. Rückel says he is at a “different point in life” now than he was two years ago, and states that his perspective has changed, quoting this excerpt from the play:
“‘There is a time of fear in Israel, war cries fill the land, poverty and disease ravage you, and you hunger and thirst for justice’ – I just rattled that through last time. Probably this time I will perceive some sentences quite differently, emphasize them more, think about them differently.”
A Director for Today
Director Christian Stückl is preparing for the first rehearsal of his fourth Passion Play at the helm – his tenure spans almost 40 years. In this production, he is striving to deliver a production that will uniquely resonate with audiences who have just struggled through the pandemic and the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty it has brought into our lives. Stückl says,
“Like every human being, [Jesus] knows fear – and yet he remains steadfast… it’s about a character who goes through life with great consistency. Who follows His idea of His God.”
What could resonate more in these present times? A human being, pushing through fear because of their faith in God. Throughout the pandemic, 206 Tours has had to postpone thousands of pilgrims, but our motto adopted throughout these two years has been – we will continue because we know Who is in control.
Stay Connected for Passion Play Updates
The Passion Play keeps an impressive online presence on its website, blog, newsletters, and social media accounts. To stay up to date with all Passion Play news, follow them online:
Credit: A special edition on the Oberammergau 2022 Passion Play: The publication was released in December 2021 and can be found in its original format here
Published by: Eigenbetrieb Oberammergau Kultur, Walter Rutz (V.i.S.d.P.), Ludwig-Thoma-Straße 10, D-82487 Oberammergau Texts, concept, interviews: Teresa Grenzmann Graphics: Dominik Schwarz Participation: Jenny Greza, Frederik Mayet, Franziska Seher
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