ACM's Study Abroad 2022

Informational Video About ACM's Study Abroad in Germany 2022

Summer 2022 – ACM Study Abroad Experience in Oberammergau, Germany

Download the application form here.


Course Description

Once each decade, the townspeople of Oberammergau, Germany produce a passion play – a dramatization of Jesus’s life and death – on a scale that dwarfs any other in the world.  Rehearsals last six months.  Half the town’s residents collaborate to put this on, and nearly a thousand actors occupy the stage together for the crowd scenes.  Actors are joined by a massive community choir and orchestra.  500,000 people flock to this tiny town to see this play over the course of its five-month run.  

They’ve been doing this since 1634, but the play is changing.  Until recently, it was routinely produced by an all-white, all-Catholic, mostly-male cast, and it was widely considered virulently anti-Semitic.  But now a new director has taken over.  There’s a new and more inclusive vision.  The town’s residents – men and women – Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, and atheist – share the stage.  Traces of anti-Semitism remain, but with each iteration of the play, the artists work creatively to acknowledge, understand, and expunge them.   


The Department of Arts Culture & Media at UTSC is offering a summer course in May-June 2022, 

in which students study the Oberammergau Passion Play and experience it first-hand.  We will investigate this nearly 400-year-old tradition, why it persists, and how it is changing.  In Oberammergau, we’ll not only see the play; we’ll also interview cast members, musicians, administrators, audience members, and others in the town. We will seek to better understand what the play means to them, how the tradition is changing, and how the production influences their understanding of this mythic narrative.  

Professor Elliot Leffler (Assistant Professor of Theatre & Performance) will teach the class and lead the trip, and will engage students in original research he is conducting on the passion play.  The class will meet intensively throughout May and June, with nine days in Germany (departing May 3, prior to the official start of summer term, and returning May 13).  This D-level course will be worth 0.5 credit.



This D-level course is for advanced students throughout ACM who have demonstrated an aptitude for critical inquiry and collaboration. It requires that students have taken at least 9 credits in ACM, with a cGPA of at least 2.5

Preference will be given to more advanced students, students who have done more extensive coursework in ACM, and students who have demonstrated the highest levels of commitment to academic rigour and collaboration.  Current degree-seeking students will receive preference over alumni.



Thanks to support from the UTSC Dean’s Office, costs to students are minimal.  The flights, lodging, and theatre tickets will be fully funded.  Students will have to pay individually for tuition, meals, and potentially, for Covid-19 tests (especially if required by laws and policies in May 2022).  Students are able to apply for additional funding through UTSC’s Global Learning Travel Fund or International Experience Award Plus to cover the costs of meals and Covid tests. More information will be provided closer to the travel date.


Students’ Responsibilities

Students accepted into ACMD98H3 (Experiential Learning for ACM Programs) must:

  • Enrol in, pay tuition for, and complete the course requirements of a summer 2022 ACM course that meets Monday afternoons throughout May-June (tentatively scheduled for 12-2 pm)
  • Be fully available to travel to Germany (May 3-13)
  • Attend two preparatory meetings during the April 2021 final exam period (which will be scheduled so as not to conflict with exams), and three additional preparatory meetings during the final week of April (after the conclusion of exams)
  • Submit documentation of vaccination for Covid-19, and be prepared to mask up whenever indoors (students who require medical exemptions should confer with ACM Program Manager Manaal Hussain or Prof. Elliot Leffler)
  • Accept that Covid-19 is an evolving situation, and as such, the department may need to update health and safety protocols for the course and especially the trip, even up to the last minute
  • Canadian Citizen Students: Ensure that your passport is valid through at least August 15, 2022. Click here for more information.
  • International Students: Obtain visa to visit Germany, if you need one.  (This will depend on what country you’re from.  Check this website to see if you would need a visa to travel to Germany.) 


Application and Deadline

Applicants should fill out all fields in the attached application and submit by email (acm-pa@utsc.utoronto.caby Monday, Feb 4, 2022 (11:59pm). Late applications will not be accepted.



Eleven students and six alternates will be selected by a committee of ACM faculty. The committee will consider applicants’ performance across all courses in our department, their demonstrated aptitude for collaboration, and the potential for future benefit.  Alternates will have an opportunity to register for the course and join the trip if and when accepted students decline the opportunity.  ACM faculty and staff will be in frequent touch with alternates about the prospects and the timelines.



Please direct questions to Elliot Leffler (