Plot

The Passion Play begins with the entry into Jerusalem and tells the passion story from the Last Supper to the crucifixion ending with the resurrection.

In 2010, the Passion Play was divided into eleven acts, also known as presentations. The presentations 1 to 5 form the first part, which began at 2:30 pm. After a three-hour-break, presentations 6 to 11 followed at 8 pm. The performance ended at about 11 pm. It comprises alternating forms of spoken introductions, drama and the special feature of the tableaux vivants (living images), a format kept from the 18th century. The living images are presented along with observational and interpretational choir songs accompanied by the orchestra and usually create a typological reference to the Old Testament at the beginning of each act. They are devotional images and thus allow the audience to pause and reflect.

With the new staging in 2010, the holistic story of the Gospel, particularly the tidings of Jesus and his conception of Man, received additional attention. For this purpose, the play directors Christian Stückl and Otto Huber completely reviewed and supplemented the text of the Passion Play together with the theological consultant of the Passion Play, Professor Ludwig Mödl.

Now, the focus lies on Jesus’ urging to make a radical change and to turn to each individual human without restrictions.

The message of love of neighbour was to be brought to the fore.

Therefore, concise quotes from the Gospel, particularly from the Sermon on the Mount, as well as short scenes, for instance Jesus and the adulteress, were introduced in the first and second act to characterise his message and to lead to the passion itself.

It was shown that Jesus was strongly connected to Jewish tradition by having him greet the scribes with “Shma Israel!” and lecturing them. Moreover, the new staging highlights the responsibility of Pilatus, his brutal personality and the conflicts within the High Council with its different factions, which no longer make it appear like a monolith block of Jesus’ opponents.

The Passion Play Village Oberammergau

Structure of the Play

Prelude

Living Image: The Loss of Paradise

Act I: Jesus Enters Jerusalem
Act II: Jesus in Bethany

Living Image: Moses leads the Israelites through the Red Sea

Act III: Expulsion of the Temple Merchants - Pilate and Caiaphas - Judas and the High Council

Living Image: The Ten Commandments and the dance around the golden calf

Act IV: Jesus´ Meal with his Disciples

Living Image: The Paschal meal before the exodus from Egypt

Act V: Jesus on Mount Olive - The Arrest

Living Image: The Betrayal at the Rock of Gibeon
Living Image: The calling of Moses Before the burning bush

(End of Part I – 3-hour break)

 

Act VI: Interrogations before Annas and the High Council

Living Image: The Prophet Daniel in the Lion´s Pit
Living Image: The mocking of Job

Act VII: Jesus is mocked - Peter denies Jesus -The despair of Judas

Living Image: The despair of Cain

Act VIII: Jesus before Pilate und Herod

Living Image: Moses is expelled by the Pharaoh

Act IX: Jesus Condemned by Pilate

Living Image: Joseph is Celebrated as Egypt´s Savior

Act X: Way of the Cross – Crucifixion

Living Image: The sacrifice of Isaac on Mount Moriah
Living Image: Salvation by looking up at the bronze serpent

Act XI: The Encounter with the Risen one

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