In real life named Frederik and Eva-Maria, the two young actors enjoyed a whistle stop tour through Southern California to promote the Passion Play in 2010. Of course a visit to Venice Beach and Hollywood was also on the itinerary.
Off stage Frederik is a press officer for the Passion Play and Eva is a Lufthansa flight attendant. Their lives are literally on hold from May 15 through October 3rd in 2010 and one must admire the dedication they and the inhabitants of Oberammergau bring to this historical play.
1633: The Plague has a firm grip on Bavaria. The deadly disease has spread to Oberammergau and is taking its toll of the villagers. The remaining inhabitants make a vow that every 10th year they will perform the story of the events of the last days, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
For 375 years with great pride, dignity, devotion and passion they have kept their word and performed their play.
Only people born in the village or who have lived there for at least 20 years are allowed to take part. Out of the 5200 or so inhabitants about 2500 will be involved in some way with the production, whether as front of house, as seamstresses, stage hands, musicians or performers on stage. It is a true community achievement. The year before the actual performance the villagers wishing to act gather outside the theatre and stand anxiously watching the names for the lead roles being chalked onto a board. Starting on Ash Wednesday of the previous year men and women grow their hair, and men their beards, as no wigs or false beards are allowed.
2010: Against the impressive backdrop of the Ammergau Alps in a special, purpose-built theatre, seating some 4,700 spectators, the 41st Oberammergau Passion Play will take place between 15 May and 3 October. The performance starts at 14.30 and including a three-hour break for dinner, finishes at 22.30.
Whilst the audience and symphony-size orchestra is undercover the actors perform on a stage open to the elements. For all participants it is an exhausting five months. The 41st production under the direction of Christian Stückl will see a revised text, new stage designs and music along with new costumes (made in the village).
For more information about the 2010 play visit our website at www.nonstoptravel.net.