In our new series, we introduce you to participants in the Passion Play 2020 - from ushers to Romans and wardrobes to leading actors. A total of almost 2,400 Oberammergauer women and men will be taking part in the play. Not all of them can be seen on stage. Some of them sit in the orchestra pit, others work in the dressing rooms or as carpenters or technicians behind the scenes. And others welcome you at the entrance to the Passion Theatre. The tasks at the Passion Play are as varied as the participants.
Walter Lang (Photo: Andreas Stückl)
1. What's your name?
Walter Franz Xaver Lang. Because "Walter" was not devout enough for the priest who was supposed to baptize me, my mother added the name of my father Franz Xaver, so I‘m not aristocratic!
2. What are you doing at the Passion Play 2020?
I enjoy the loose burden of a poor man ... whether crawling in the dust and/or living from the crumbs of the Pharisees, I do not know yet.
3. And what do you do in "real" life?
There I (sparingly) consume my pension, often look down from Mount Kofel to the village, still drift around on high, no only higher mountains, rejoice in and with the family, who are all involved in the Play (orchestra, choir, people) and am glad that I can live here in the "Lumpadörfla", this so special place.
4. How can this be reconciled with the Passion Play?
That is today (retirement) and was never a problem even as a teacher in Bad Kohlgrub. A good collegiumn and timely organization helped a lot.
5. What is your first memory of the Passion Play?
I still remember when in 1950 I was allowed to fetch guests from the station with a cart and was able to use the first English chunks.
6. How often did you take part in the Play?
1950 as a child among the people
In 1960 I wanted to do medical service as a mountain patrol officer, but three weeks before the start of the games I was informed that I had not been in Oberammergau for 20 years and was therefore not eligible to play, despite my complete training and my tailor-made medical uniform! ... I still wasn't married to an Ammergauerin. ... So strict were the customs at that time! ... So I worked as a guide in the museum of local history.
1970 as paramedic
1977 as Nicodemus at the Rosnerprobe
1980 as paramedic
1984 among the people
1990 as Nicodemus
2000 and 2010 in the High Council
7. What will you never forget?
The joy of having had the same role in 1977 and 1990 with texts by Rosner and Daisenberger that were so different in their demands.
8. Will you tell us a nice anecdote about the Passion Play?
During the last Play we had rented out, and when making the beds we were surprised that all the furniture stood on the balcony and in the hallway, but a completely wet tent was pitched to dry in the room! With Hermann Wiegand I collected our impressions beside and behind the stage in 1990, 2000 and 2010 in a small book "Da ander Passio", he graphically, I verbally in Bavarian dialect.
9. What are you particularly looking forward to at the Passion Play 2020?
The variety, the hopefully active movement, but even more the daily noticeable community on and behind the stage - also with Ammergauern, with whom I had perhaps spoken for the last time ten years ago, because they live in another district.
10. What is the greatest privation in the Passion Play period?
Actually nothing, because the lack of independence, the clocked playing periods and perhaps the lack of leisure time is loosely compensated by the joy of playing.