THE OBERUFER SHEPHERDS PLAY - Thu 14 Dec - 7:30pm-9:30pm - a traditional play performed by the teachers see details

The Oberufer Sherpherds Play – Thu 14 Dec

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Events > 2017 > December > The Oberufer Sherpherds Play - Thu 14 Dec

About this event:

Created by Michelle

The Shepherds Play

A gift from teachers to their children


Every year the teachers perform this traditional play, which is special in many ways, so please come and join us in Keir Hall at school.

The Oberufer Shepherds Play - Dec 2017 traditional festival performance at Ringwood Waldorf School


One of three traditional plays in the Oberufer cycle

For hundreds of years, ordinary folk in the small Austrian village of Oberufer on the Danube gathered in the local tavern at Christmas time to perform these plays to their neighbours. With their roots lost in medieval times, the plays gradually evolved to incorporate a unique mixture of broad peasant humour and deep reverence in their celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus.

  • "The Paradise Play" serves as a Preface, presenting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, but with the promise of future salvation through Christ.
  • "The Shepherds Play" follows with its portrayal of the birth of Jesus in a stable where he is sought out by a group of simple shepherds.
  • "The Kings Play", the final in the trilogy, depicts the visit of three wise Kings to the birthplace of the 'King of Humanity', and the murderous measures taken by Herod to try and thwart Jesus' mission.

Characters in The Shepherds Play

  • ANGEL - preferably acted by a woman
  • MARY - young woman
  • JOSEPH - older man
  • STAR-SINGER - young man
  • GALLUS - young man
  • HUCKLE - the youngest of the three shepherds
  • MUCKLE - older man
  • CRISPIN - very old man
  • INNKEEPERS - either men or women

... but who will play who?!

 A Jewel of a Play

"It is the simplicity of the Shepherds – through their humorous camaraderie – that encourages us all to delight in their innocence and gentle faith, and their willingness to follow their hearts. Certainly, to hear the peals of laughter, coming so wholeheartedly from even the youngest children, is to know that the Shepherds’ Play is a jewel of a play that warms the hearts and souls of both the young and old. In this all too busy holiday season we are given the occasion to stand back and experience a moment of reverence and awe of the simple innocence and love expressed through the shepherds, and through our children. Something rings true as we allow ourselves to become transported by the magic of this humble play. Perhaps, it is the essence of love, that “Holy Thing”, that is ringing true in our own hearts." 

Excerpt from 'Some background on The Shepherds Play' by Arlene Kamo of Trillium Waldorf School in Canada. Read more of this interesting article on their site.