I mentioned Oberammergau in a previous post about my cruise experience; here’s some extra info.
Back in a theatrical history course early in my theatre days I heard about Oberammergau: to avoid being decimated by the Black Plague, the townspeople pledged to perform the Passion Play every ten years (starting in 1634). They followed that pretty well until (ironically?) covid interrupted them. A two-year delay and we got there, since I have always wanted to see it.
I appreciated it from an academic point of view and thought the staging and performances were excellent. On the negative side, at five hours it’s overlong, and I thought the Pontius Pilate scene with Barabbas et al could have been trimmed down. (Let’s not forget I cut Hamlet down to one hour.)
Some of our fellow cruise people—I believe from a more religious perspective—said, “It was a once in a lifetime experience.” I think this was their way of being positive since it’s long, all in German, and we were packed with 4500 people in an amphitheater that did not allow for ease in bathroom breaks.
In the end I’m glad I got to see it, and yes, it’s a once in a lifetime experience because I have no desire to sit through it again. But I am glad to have seen it.