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Is the play closer to a stage show or a religious service?

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Is the play closer to a stage show or a religious service?

I am not religious in any denomination, and I do not speak German. But I enjoy opera and theater, and typically see close to 100 live shows a year. Would I be likely to appreciate the Passion Play as a purely theatrical experience, or is the production really aimed primarily at the demographic who attends church regularly? How is the quality of the acting, choral and instrumental performances, sets, lighting, etc.? (Finding tickets at this late date is a whole separate topic.)

Cincinnati, OH
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1. Re: Is the play closer to a stage show or a religious service?

While I have not yet seen the stage production ( I will see it on September 10), I visited Oberammergau last year and had a backstage tour. The quality of the theater and all the props and costumes cannot be overstated. Everything we were shown was top quality, so I am hoping that the play will stand alone as a theatrical production to be enjoyed. However, it is a Passion Play, and by definition will have religious overtones. We were told you do not need to understand German to enjoy the play and that surcaps in English (as seen in some opera productions) help explain the action. If you know your Bible and the story of the crucifixion, you should have no trouble understanding what's happening on stage.

London, England
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138 posts
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2. Re: Is the play closer to a stage show or a religious service?

We visited Oberammergau to see the passion play last month.

The text of the play is available in a small book in both English and German. Many of the audience are following the text in this way - including using small torches (on sale near the theatre)- for the later part of the evening.

The play is broken into sections, introduced by music and by tableaux of various Old Testament biblical scenes - for which the text is helpful.

The size of the stage and of the cast make this an amazing experience - which is well worth seeing - but nevertheless I would say that a majority of the audience is there for religious reasons.

Washington, Indiana
6 posts
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3. Re: Is the play closer to a stage show or a religious service?

Getting tickets at the ticket booth before a play is next to impossible. The lines are very long and I do not think there are many available tickets. Try to get tickets or packages which include tickets in advance on line. The theatre holds 4700 people and I did not see one empty seat! The play is theatre style, most impressive by the size and the live living images. The play seeks to communicate the message of the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You do not have to be religious to enjoy the music, brilliant costumes and realistic portrayal of biblical events. The play is not museum-like folk theater. The passion play is much like attending opera on a gigantic scale. Plan to get a textbook and book light to follow along in english. If you enjoy opera and theatre, you will definately enjoy this.

4. Re: Is the play closer to a stage show or a religious service?

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