The Passion Play begins with the Entry into Jerusalem and tells the Passion from the Lord's Supper through to the Crucifixion and ends with the Resurrection.

The Passion Play is divided into twelve scenes. Scenes 1 to 6 form the first part, which begins in the afternoon. After a three-hour break, scenes 7 to 12 follow in the evening.

The Passion Play begins with the Entry into Jerusalem and tells the Passion from the Lord's Supper through to the Crucifixion and ends with the Resurrection. Each scene is preceded by a performance of the choir with a Living Picture (tableau vivant - representation of paintings by living persons). The Living Pictures are contemplative-interpretive typological references to the Old Testament, accompanied by the orchestra and choir. As devotional pictures, they offer an environment to pause and reflect.

Although the Play represents only the last days in the life of Jesus, we are concerned with the whole of the Gospel, particularly with the message of Jesus and his conception of the human being. The focus is on Jesus' call to radical conversion and his turning to each individual human being. Jesus appears in an Israel ruled by Rome, in a world that was marked by social contrasts, oppression and exploitation.  Every emerging unrest was nipped in the bud by Pilate. People longed for liberation from Roman rule and hoped for the Messiah. In this world, Jesus speaks of an unrestricted commandment to love one's neighbour, which includes everyone, the slave as well as the oppressor. Jesus' call to radical rethinking is the call to end hatred and counter-hatred, violence and counter-violence. It is shown that Jesus was firmly rooted in his Jewish tradition.

He speaks to the priests as a devout Jew. He strikes up the "Sch'ma Israel", the "Hear, Israel! The Lord our God' is the Lord alone!" and he admonishes the priests, who are primarily concerned with the observance of religious rituals and regulations, with the words: "You leave aside the most important matter of law, namely the right, mercy and faith.”

For us, Jesus is an outspoken young Jew who was crucified for his message, which is still valid today. We want to show a Jesus who stands up for the faith in his God, who is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, with incredible consistency.

The Passion Play Village Oberammergau

Structure of the Play

Part I

Prelude: The vow

Living Image: The Loss of Paradise

Act I: Jesus enters Jerusalem

Living Image: The oppression of the Israelites

Act II: Jesus in Bethany

Living Image: The dance around the Golden Calf

Act III: Expulsion of the Temple Merchants – Pilate and Caiaphas

Living Image: Israel crosses the Red Sea

Act IV: The High Council - Judas before Caiaphas

Living Image: The Burning Thornbush

Act V: The Last Supper

Act VI: Jesus on the Mount of Olives – The Arrest

(End of Part I – approximately 3-hour break)


Part II

Living Image: Daniel in the Lion’s den

Living Image: Job

Act VII: Jesus before Annas/Caiaphas

Living Image: Cain und Abel

Act VIII: Jesus is mocked – Peter’s remorse- Judas demands Jesus back – The despair of Judas

Living Image: Moses before the Pharaoh

Act XI:  Jesus before Pilate/Herod – The Flagellation

Living Image: Josef’s Dream

Act X: Jesus condemnation by Pilate

Living Image: Isaac’s sacrifice

Living Image: The Bronze Serpent

Act XI: Way of the Cross – Crucifixion

Act XII: At the Tomb