Dear parents, students, and friends from far and near, we present the ever-returning and ever-renewing Shepherds’ Play, with its beautiful nativity and beloved shepherds.
Some 300 hundred years ago, a group of German farmers from a nearby lake district migrated to the little island of Oberufer on the Danube, close to the frontiers of Austria and Hungary. With them, they brought a cycle of three “mystery plays”—Paradise, Shepherds, and Kings—which, for centuries, had been preserved in their unaltered and original form. When folklorist, and friend and teacher to Rudolf Steiner, Karl Julius Schroer, visited Oberufer a century ago, he witnessed these plays and set out to preserve their spiritual inheritance from ancient times.
The Oberufer plays are now performed annually in many languages in Waldorf schools worldwide. The roots of the Oberufer plays may have been lost to medieval times, but they have evolved to incorporate a unique mix of broad peasant humour and deep reverence in their celebration of the birth of Jesus, setting a beautiful mood for the Christmas festival.