20yrs experience needed

Brian Eno visits Oberammergau, in Upper Bavaria, where the community has put on a Passion Play every 10 years since the early 17th century, a perpetual thanks-offering for the city’s delivery from the plague. I didn’t know they did additional city-wide plays during the interim years. Good for tourism, no doubt, and once your town’s been community-theater-mad for 300+ years, why not?

What I went to last night was not the full-blown Passion play – that won’t happen until 2010  (they’re working on it now). I attended instead a play called JEREMIAS, written by the Jewish pacifist Stefan Zweig in 1933, which featured a relatively modest cast of 500, ranging in age from 3 to 80.  The criterion for being in a play is that you should be born in Oberammergau or have lived there for 20 years. The current director is Christian Stückl, a local man who directed his first Passion at the tender age of 28 (making him the youngest director in the long history of the play). Stückl told us that, in the 2000 Passion, a group of Muslim inhabitants of the town asked if they could be included: they’d by that time fulfilled the 20 year residency criterion. After enormous discussion during which the Muslim folk elucidated the parallels between the Koran and the Bible, they were included.

from “Generational Theater,” by Brian Eno, posted by Kevin Kelly The Long Now Blog, 11 August 2008

Originally published at culture-making.com.

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