What is it like being part of a Passion Play?
Hundreds of people are involved in Passion Plays around the UK. Whether it is acting, making costumes, singing, working with sound technicians, or making endless cups of tea, there is a place for everyone! Whatever your skill set or prior experience, there is a chance for everyone to invest their talents and also develop new ones!
What is it like acting in a Passion Play? Let’s hear from some volunteers below.
I had been involved with amateur dramatic groups before and I was quite interested in that. Then I heard about a Passion Play near where I live. I was looking for something to do and had quite a bit of time on my hands, so I decided to get involved.
The best thing about the Passion Play is that we have a professional actor playing Jesus and a professional director, so it is not amateurish at all. We also have a professional sound system and lots of people say it’s just marvelous because you can hear everything that is being said.
For many people, the plays are good because they go to church and hear snippets of the Bible stories, but seeing the play brings the whole story to life.
The Passion Play really helped me because I was going through a lot of grief after my daughter died. I decided to get involved in the play the following year and it was something I never expected would help me so much. We all have pain and suffering and life isn’t easy, whether it’s a death or the challenges and doubts and fears of our every day life. You have to place your faith and trust in something.
Not everybody believes in Jesus but maybe they’ve got something else that they believe in, and the Passion Play helped me to focus on what I believed in. That there is this pain and suffering and there’s trouble around but you know it’s not the be-all and end-all and there is something more to it at the end, which is far more satisfying.
We’re all a community, the human race is a community, it’s how we can relate that community spirit with others around us. After seeing the play, many people say they want to be involved in one way or another and join in because I think they can sense the community and heart of the cast. There is a community spirit and everyone is together following the story.
When you face all the challenges of a Passion Play together, you really become friends! Being outdoors, facing the elements with the wind and the rain is quite an experience. It can be very cold when Easter falls at the end of March! And working with a professional director and some of the actors who are also professionals, they are great in the way they work with amateur groups and bring out the best in people.
Being in a Passion Play is very rewarding, you get to work with some incredible actors and some wonderful people. I don’t go to church but I learn so much about the Bible. Instead of sitting down reading the stories, we work with scripts and rehearsals and get to know the characters and events in so much detail.
We have discussions about the way we’re playing a character or the wording we are using and how we should be doing it, and that’s very helpful in understanding the story. Rather than sitting down reading it in the Bible, we are working together with a script and that makes a big difference!
I have been one of the disciples and one of the Roman soldiers, and it really is a journey of understanding. Every time I’m involved, I learn so much. I get so much out of it
I used to do amateur dramatics and amateur operatics and I enjoy acting, so I got involved. At school growing up and then at church you hear lots of little stories, but I never really put them into context with each other. But in the Pasion Play, it does all flow and you really begin to understand the whole story of Christ’s life. Now when I’m in church and hear a reading, I can see it being acted out the way we did it in the play. It’s very nice to be able to picture what it may have been like. It feels much more like the way people would interact, shouting and laughing and you think actually that’s much more realistic instead of sitting down reading stories from the Bible.