Oberammergau

A small Bavarian town with more than five thousand inhabitants, belonging to the area of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. An imperceptible, ordinary small town with a classic structure and function method, which however differs from other ordinary towns thanks to the theater play The Passion, which has been, with few exceptions, performed for four centuries without a pause.

The play was created after an outbreak of plague, because the citizens of Oberammergau vowed to God that they would, if he spared them, perform that play forever as a sign of their gratitude. Of course, the prophecy came true. After the mortality rate suddenly soared from 1 deceased to thousand deceased in a year, in October 1632, it has also suddenly decreased to only 20 deceased in March 1633. The citizens were bound by such a large amplitude of mortality rate to perform The Passion as a sign of gratitude and respect.

 The play takes place every ten years, from 15 May to 3 October in succession. The next show will be in 2020, and the production includes around 2,000 Oberammergau citizens and they are the only participants. Actors, technicians, set designers, costume designers, stage managers, lighting directors, sound directors...

Because of the various economic, social, cultural or political reasons the play was canceled. In 1770, the Duke of Bavaria banned the performance on behalf of the Catholic Church. However, a decade later, the play was given a new name: the Old and New Testament and was performed again. Due to the damages caused by World War I, the performance in 1920 was postponed to 1922. In 1940, during WWII, the performance was suspended until 1950, when the US occupation authorities allowed the performance of the play, and The Passion has been performed ever since in the theater of Oberammergau.