Passion Play (Ruhl)

A SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. TITLE

Passion Play (Ruhl)

Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  3w, 8m

Hailed by The New Yorker’s John Lahr as “extraordinary,” “bold,” and “inventive,” Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play takes us behind the scenes of three very different communities attempting to stage the death and resurrection of Christ. 

Image: 2008 Yale Repertory Theatre Production (Joan Marcus)

Passion Play (Ruhl)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3w, 8m
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Adaptations (Literature), Period, Docudrama/Historic, Faith-based
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult

Details

Summary
Hailed by The New Yorker’s John Lahr as “extraordinary,” “bold,” and “inventive,” Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play takes us behind the scenes of three very different communities attempting to stage the death and resurrection of Christ. 

This intimate epic occurs at the timely intersection of politics and religion. Ruhl dramatizes a community of players rehearsing their annual staging of the Easter Passion in three different eras: 1575 Northern England, just before Queen Elizabeth outlaws the ritual; 1934 Oberammergau, Bavaria, as Hitler is rising to power; and Spearfish, South Dakota, from the time of Vietnam through Reagan’s presidency. In each period, the players grapple with the transformative nature of art, and politics are never far in the background.

History
An early version of Passion Play was produced in workshop at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London in July 2002. It was directed by Mark Wing-Davey. 
Passion Play received its world premiere at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., on September 2, 2005. It was directed by Molly Smith.
PONTIUS THE FISH GUTTER / FOOTSOLDIER / P
JOHN THE FISHERMAN / ERIC / J
MARY 1 / ELSA
MARY 2
VISITING FRIAR / VISITING ENGLISHMAN, OR SIMON LILLY / VA PSYCHIATRIST
VILLIAGE IDIOT / VIOLET
CARPENTER 1, SAM / CARPENTER 2, JOHANN / ENSEMBLE
CARPENTER 2, SIMON / LUDWIG / ENSEMBLE
DIRECTOR / ROCHUS SCHALLHAMMER
MACHINIST / GERMAN OFFICER / YOUNG DIRECTOR
QUEEN ELIZABETH / HITLER / PRESIDENT REGAN

Cast doubles roles for each separate Part of Passion Play

  • Time Period Present Day, 1980s, 1940s / WWII, 15th Century
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Additional Features Not Applicable
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Mild Adult Themes

Media

Named one of the “Ten Best Plays of 2008” by The New Yorker

"Her [Ruhl’s] unmistakable voice—poetic and quirky, underpinned with serious feeling and even more serious intelligence—trumpets forth in brash, impressive form in this ambitious...play." - The New York Times

"Ruhl’s voice seems to retreat beyond the sphere of the play, performing that special vanishment that good writers—and good gods—know best how to do…Critic’s Pick!" - Time Out New York

"Let’s just get the superlatives out of the way. Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play is the most exciting, stimulating, and thrilling piece of theater to hit New York since Angels in America." - Backstage

Videos

  • Sarah Ruhl on Passion Play youtube thumbnail

    Sarah Ruhl on Passion Play

  • Passion Play youtube thumbnail

    Passion Play

  • Sarah Ruhl on "Poor Theatre" youtube thumbnail

    Sarah Ruhl on "Poor Theatre"

  • Sarah Ruhl youtube thumbnail

    Sarah Ruhl

Photos

  • Passion Play (Ruhl)

    Image: 2008 Yale Repertory Theatre Production (Joan Marcus)

  • Passion Play (Ruhl)

    Image: 2008 Yale Repertory Theatre Production (Joan Marcus)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £100 per performance

Authors

Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, The Clean House, Passion Play, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Melancholy Play, For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday, The Oldest Boy, Stage Kiss, Dear Elizabeth, Eurydice, How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, Orlando, Late ...

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