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Shepherds' Play: 7pm
TRSS teachers welcome all to the Shepherds’ Play in the school hall, 7pm.
It has been a long tradition for our teachers to perform the Oberufer Shepherd’s Play as a gift for the children and for the community at the end of the year.
The Oberufer plays were collected in the forties of last century by Karl Schroer, a friend and teacher of Rudolf Steiner, from the island of Oberufer on the Danube. They originated from a cycle of religious plays passed on from family to family in the Middle Ages. When Schroer collected the plays the parts were still hereditary in certain families; no complete copy existed but each family treasured a manuscript of the words of one particular part. The preparation of the plays and the manner of acting has been described by Rudolf Steiner. All the parts were played by men, as in the Elizabethan theatre, and during time of rehearsal all members of the cast had to lead – as far as they could – a moral and respectable life, abstaining alike from visits to ale houses and from singing bawdy songs.
These plays were translated to English by A.C. Harwood who said although it may seem superfluous to translate Christmas Plays from another tongue when they exist already in wonderful poetry such as the Coventry plays, however, he says, these particular plays are both more child-like and more dramatic than the old English plays and make a deeper impression on children than any other nativity plays available.
Our lives have got busier and more complicated and it is always tempting to give up our traditions, especially those that take time and energy, like the Christmas plays. However it is also easy to start to forget the real meaning of Christmas and these plays remind us again of our true mission as human beings and of the light that comes once again at Christmas time.
Kathy MacFarlane for the Teachers.