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Chuck Wagon Church hosts Oberufer Shepherds Play

December 16, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF — The Chuck Wagon Church in Scottsbluff hosted an old German Christmas play on Dec. 15, written over 500 years ago and performed in traditional costumes.

Beth Corymb Everett, who co-directs the play with her husband, Nathan Corymb Clark, said the Oberufer Shepherds Play is part of a traditional sequence of three plays, between the Paradise Play and the Kings Play. The plays originated in Germany in the 16th century and are written in verse. The plot begins with the nativity of Christ and, following the Gospel of Luke, the journey of shepherds to the stable Christ was born in.

“This is from a community that was pushed off their land and ended up living on an island in the Danube River,” Corymb said. “Every year, one person from each family would participate in it.”

The play has been translated into an older version of English, with plenty of what Corymb called country humor.

“There’s humor, but there’s this earnestness of the shepherds trying to find their way to the nativity,” she said.

The play is performed by farmers and friends at Meadowlark Hearth Farms. The group had previously performed the play at the Chuck Wagon Church in 2014.

“It’s a way of working together with a diverse group of people who don’t usually do things together,” she said.

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