Frederic Mayet, me and Christian Stuckl at the U.S. press tour event when it came through Dallas on April 4. Frederic will be one of the cast members who portrays Jesus in the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play. He played the role in the 2010 as well. Christian will direct the play for the 4th time in 2020.
The year 2020 will mark the 42nd time the Passion Play has been held in the small Bavarian village of Oberammergau. Since my Mother was from Oberammergau, how to attend this historic event is one of the most asked questions I get. I thought I would detail my own experience as well as what you need to do NOW to get there! Let’s dive into the best way to attend the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play. Also, did you know that American Airlines has started a new non-stop flight from Dallas – Munich, Germany?
If you are new around here, I am half German. My Mother and Father met while my dad was stationed in the Army in Germany. While mostly being raised in the United States (I’m a U.S. citizen because I was born here), we did live in Oberammergau for four years during my childhood. In fact, I attended the second – fifth grade in the Oberammergau Elementary School (not the NATO School) which forced a German language immersion. I have written several blog posts about this quaint little town and you can read them here and here. Living in this beautiful small town are some of my favorite childhood memories!
I have personally seen the Oberammergau Passion Play in 1990 and 2000. Hear me loud and clear, this will be the most moving performance you will ever attend! Realize that all the actors are not professional thespians, instead they are the citizens of Oberammergau fulfilling an oath made to God made in 1633. The town was spared from the black plague when it was widespread throughout the area and the villagers vowed to hold a passion tragedy play once every ten years to never forget how God helped protect them. The play is performed in German but given the subject matter, it is easy to follow along. The men start growing their hair and beards one year before the play begins.
I’m excited to return to see the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play, visit my German relatives and explore the area. I’m attending the Opening Night performance on May 16, 2020. Below are some helpful hints to planning your trip.
2020 Oberammergau Passion Play Details
WHAT: The Oberammergau Passion Play is a passion play performed since 1633 as a tradition by the inhabitants of the village of Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany. It was written by Othmar Weis, J A Daisenberger, Otto Huber, Christian Stuckl, Rochus Dedler, Eugen Papst, Marcus Zwink, Ingrid H Shafer, and the inhabitants of Oberammergau, with music by Dedler. Since its first production, it has been performed on open-air stages in the village. The text of the play is a composite of four distinct manuscripts dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The play is a staging of Jesus’ passion, covering the short final period of his life from his entrance to Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) and leading to his execution by crucifixion, burial and rising.
WHEN: May 16 – October 4, 2020. The play DOES NOT run on Monday and Wednesday. On show days, the play has the following performance times. The 3 hour intermission is designed for meal time, shopping and exploring of the small town. There are 103 performances.
May 16th to August 16th:
Part I 2.30 pm – 5.00 pm
Part II 8.00 pm – 10.30 pm
August 17th to October 4th:
Part I 1.30 pm – 4:00 pm
Part II 7.00 pm – 9.30 pm
WHERE: The Passion Play theater in Oberammergau, Germany. The town is located in southern Bavaria near the Austrian border.
HOW: The best way to book the Passion Play and Oberammergau travel experience is with an authorized travel/tour operator. They are the experts at packaging the play with travel. Click here to get started. Most people book a 2-day or 3-day package. This is the easiest way to guarantee seeing the Passion Play and having accommodations nearby.
WHO: Director Christian Stuckl will again direct the 42nd installment of the Passion Play. This will be his 4th time to direct, previously helming the plays in 1990, 2000 and 2010. All major roles for the play are double cast and the cast list can be viewed here. The entire history of the play can be seen here. For more information about the directing team, orchestra and choir click here.
I also noticed other travel agencies and tours offering 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play packages. Check out how Viking Tours is incorporating it into several tours they already offer. You might remember that Pete and I did the Budapest, Hungary – Nuremberg, Germany on the Danube River with Viking Cruises. Click here to read more about that experience. Whatever you do, I highly recommend using a travel agent for this trip. Since Oberammergau is a small village of 5,000 inhabitants, there is no way to simply buy tickets and find a hotel.
As I mentioned above, American Airlines has added some new, daily non-stop flights from DFW. Of note, you can now travel directly to San Luis Obispo, California; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Kalispell, Montana (Glacier Mountain); Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Santa Rosa, California; Dublin, Ireland and Munich, Germany. I just enjoyed the new non-stop flight from DFW – Monterey, California to discover Carmel-By-The-Sea (details here). I can tell you that a non-stop flight is a huge bonus in booking travel!
I hope this blog post is helpful in planning your 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play experience. Please leave me a comment and let me know if you have ever been or plan to go next year. Let’s share some memories!
xoxo – Tanya
P.S. Pete and I are on the inaugural non-stop flight to Kalispell, Montana right now as you read this! Today (June 6) is the first day of this direct flight. We are headed back to Montana to explore the Glacier Mountain region of the state. Last fall, we did Missoula and Paws Up. Follow our journey (and Pete’s humor) on my Instagram.