Passion Play

Institute History

  • 2000 Theatre Lab


Sarah Ruhl, Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award Grantee

In the first act, a village in England, 1575, performs the Passion of Christ. The town has trouble distinguishing between art and life; the actor who plays Pilate has always wanted to play Christ, who is played by his cousin. The actress who plays Mary Magdalen is in love with the actress who plays the Virgin Mary; the latter is a lusty wench and is impregnated by the actor who plays Pilate, leading to tragic and comic results.

The second act jumps forward to 1934, Oberammergau, Bavaria, where, historically, the director of the Passion Play and the man who played Christ were the first villagers to join the Nazi party. As rehearsals for the Passion Play mount, Eric, the young actor who plays Christ, is slowly drawn into the Nazi party.
—Sarah Ruhl


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