Jesus has not shaved since Ash Wednesday 2021. Like his deputy, he comes from the Bavarian Alpine community in Oberammergau. Otherwise, it should not be Jesus.
After a forced hiatus of two years, the Oberammergau Passion Play begins on May 14 for the 42nd time. 2000 Performers bring the Passion of Jesus to the stage.
All must be indigenous to Oberammergau or have lived there for at least 20 years. And they’ll play again in front of a total of half a million visitors – the world’s greatest story is finally presented in glamour, once again.
“It’s a fourth festival,” says director Christian Stockel (60). “In 1990 Jesus still had to make a loud noise, and in 2000 it was kind of quiet. In 2022, the story of the Passion will change even more into the story of Jesus’ life.
It’s now closer to the fringes of society for me – among refugees, prostitutes, and the poor.”
Like each of the 20 main roles, there will be a turn for Jesus. The lottery decided that Frederick Mayet (42) would make the first offer of the Son of God. “I’m happy,” Mate tells Bams. “My fear of theater is growing every hour.”
The second Jesus, 26-year-old flight student Rochus Rockel, is still “relaxed”: the two main actors will perform 55 shows, whose beard and hair have grown since March of last year.
For the first time in the play’s 388-year history, its opponent was a Muslim: 22-year-old Genghis Gurur plays the traitorous Judas. Gurur: “Judas obviously has a negative touch, but now it just comes naturally to me. I think it’s great to get a leadership role.”
Maria Magdalena is there for the second time. Business economist Barbara Schuster, 35, brought back the sinner and Jesus’ companion in 2010. “Obviously, I held up pretty well,” she says and laughs. What is the role? “I understood Jesus better.”
The youngest actress is only three months old: Valerie on stage with Mama Carla Schauer (25 years old) – among the people. The youngest lead actor is high school graduate David Bender (19 years old) as an angel.
He has family support: mother Anthony (47), grandmother Rosie (70) and brother Maxi (17) also play. “My grandmother is here for the fifth time,” he says. “You sometimes praise me, sometimes you criticize me. But I only listen to Stöckel’s instructions anyway.”
Benjamin Meyer (43, since 1990) reveals the secret of crucifixion to Pams. He is a landscape builder, but he was also crucified as the murderer (“thieves”) Jesmas to the left of Jesus. Meyer: These are artificial nails that are held in metal in a cross.
The wrist is then placed in a bayonet-adjusted nail. I wear a climbing belt around my pelvis, secured with a pin in my lower back. “
How’s the hairstylist doing when so many residents have to grow their hair out in order to perform? “Even long hair and beards should be taken care of,” stresses hairstylist Gabriele Daisenberger (64). We can’t complain about work.
And of course we’re happy for all the actors who want to get rid of their long beards and hair in October.”
According to Mayor Andreas Rudel (34, CSU), gaming is the number one economic driver for a community of 5,000 people. Until October 2, 2022, it’s all about Jesus and Judas – and precious money.