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Passion Playhouse Erl

Robert Schuller

alias Passionsspielhaus Erl
history of the theatresupplementtechnical dataHistoric equipment

Important events

(detail)14.6.1959 | Opening night

The theatre was designed by Robert Schuller. The performance Passionsspiel (The Passion of Erl) by Maria Luise Thurmayr was played on the ceremonial opening.

(detail)2007 | Reconstruction
Strabag AG carried out reconstruction in 2006–2007 (Renewal of the sanitary installations for the audience, orchestra pit furnished with hydraulic lift, renovation of substructure of main stage, installation of lighting bridges, refurbishment of exterior façade, modernisation of electrical installations, air-handling system, kiosk, cloakrooms and staircase).


Robert Schuller |main architect
Strabag AG |architect


Erl has enjoyed a particularly long tradition of passion play productions. This small village along the Bavarian border has staged the suffering and dying of Christ since 1613.  The oldest skript of an Easter performance by Sebastian Wild from Augsburg is preserved up to nowadays from this date. Following performances in the attic of the Postmaster's house, later in a brewery, and after 1858 in a small playhouse, At the beginning of the last century, Erl had a Passion playhouse that seated some 1700 guests. It was built in the period from 1909 to 1911 and was located in the Weidau District. The Passion play was performed for the first time in 1912 in a new 1500 seat Passion playhouse that was built at a cost of 160 000 Kroners. The venue was destroyed by fire in 1933.

The current Passion Playhouse was designed by Robert Schuller, built in the period from 1957 to 1959 and is considered an architectural and acoustical masterpiece. It blends harmoniously with the landscape describing a nautilus as it extends the hills into the plain. The building not only appears modern, but also boasts excellent acoustics, both for speeches as well as for concert performances. The Passion play is performed every six years. During the intervening years, the village hosts the Tyrolean Festival and many other concerts.

The largest ground-level theatre in Austria seats 1500 visitors. The 25 meter wide stage with a pedestal and risers forms a striking setting for the 500 actors and actresses in the Passion play. Since 1997, our guests have had the opportunity to refresh themselves before the performances or during intermission in a newly built buffet area. The art gallery at the Passion Playhouse was opened in 2003. The event space can accommodate up to 150 people.


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