- On March 26th, 2021
In 1633, the residents of Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany, vowed that if God spared them from the bubonic plague ravaging the region, they would produce a play thereafter for all time every 10 years depicting the life and death of Jesus. The death rate among adults had risen from one person per 1000 per year in October 1632 to twenty in the month of March 1633. After their vow, the adult death rate slowly subsided to one in the month of July 1633. The villagers believed they had been spared and thus kept their part of the vow when the play was first performed in 1634.
The play is now performed repeatedly over the course of five months during every year ending in zero. 102 performances took place from 15 May until 3 October 2010 and is next scheduled for 2020. The production involves over 2,000 performers, musicians and stage technicians, all residents of the village. The play comprises spoken dramatic text, musical and choral accompaniment and tableaux vivants, which are scenes from the Old Testament depicted for the audience by motionless actors accompanied by verbal description.
The play 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.