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Passion Play in Oberammergau (4-Week Class 2/19, 2/26, 3/4, 3/11), (Wednesdays 11:30am-1:30pm)   NEW!

As the Thirty-Years War of the 17th century ravaged throughout Europe, emergence of the pestilence added to the horrors of war. Responding to the devastating number of deaths from the plague, in 1633 the deeply religious townspeople of Oberammergau pledged to their God that they would perform a play in His Honor if He would stop the pestilence that had entered their village. When God answered their desperate plea, the villagers, since 1634, have continued to fulfill the promise of their ancestors by performing an annual all-day play on the suffering, crucifixion and ascension of Jesus Christ. This course provides an overview of the geography of Germany, focusing on Southern Bavaria, in which Oberammergau, a town of 5000 inhabitants, is located. To be addressed: the origin of the play; revisions of lyrics accused of antisemitism; choices of orchestral music; authenticity of costumes; and complexities/favoritism in the selection of main actors. As many as 2400 local citizens are on stage welcoming Jesus entering Jerusalem. Visitors from around the world ranged from over 150,000 in the 1900s to over 1.5 million in 2010. The instructor is a native of Oberammergau who will illustrate the physical beauty of Southern Bavaria, consider selected actors performing over time, and offer insights into the tensions among the townspeople resulting from this ambitious undertaking in staging the 2020 play. Class size limit: 18.


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
636 West Call Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
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