A SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. TITLE

Passion Play (Ruhl)

Sarah Ruhl

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  3f, 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. 

Passion Play (Ruhl)

by  Sarah Ruhl

License Estimator

Use this tool for cost estimates based on your specific needs.

OVERVIEW

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

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
Cautions
  • Mild Adult Themes

Licence details

  • Minimum Fee: £100 per performance

Specifics

Details

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

Setting:

Part One - England, 1575
Part Two - Germany, 1934
Part Three - South Dakota, 1969 – the present

Casting

3f, 8m
Cast Attributes
  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Flexible casting
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
Casting Notes

Cast doubles roles for each separate Part of Passion Play

Materials

Scripts

Media

Press

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

  • Passion Play

  • Sarah Ruhl on "Poor Theatre"

  • Sarah Ruhl

More videos +

More

Authors

Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday, The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, The Clean House, Orlando, Late: a cowboy song, Dear Elizabeth and Stage Kiss. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Ton ...

View full profile

Now Playing

Community Experiences