On October 20, 2018, the designated roles and functions for the Passion Play 2020 in Oberammergau were announced: Jesus, Judas, Mary, Pilate, the high priest Caiaphas, the angel, a soldier or priest, a choir singer, a member of the orchestra, or a fireman or usher.
Director Christian Stückl and his assistant director Abdullah Karaca auditioned all registered applicants and cast them in their various roles or duties.
Extra auditions were held for the young talent to test the younger participants for aptitude, voice, and stage presence. Musical director Markus Zwink also held auditions for casting the Passion Choir, to identify the best voices in the village for the Passion Plays to come. The orchestra was also cast.
A total of 1,830 adult Oberammergau residents have applied to participate in the 2020 Oberammergau Passion Play, along with over 500 children serving as extras. This means there will be more than 2,300 participants from all generations, from tiny infants all the way to Anni Drohmann, who at 96 will be the oldest performer on stage.
Since the 17th Century, the Passion Play has been exclusively in the hands of the local villagers. The participants must either be native Oberammergau residents or have lived in the village for more than 20 years.