December 2, 2005

Teatro Máscara Mágica’s Delightful Nativity Play, La Pastorela Noel, Lights Up Globe’s Cassius Carter State

The Old Globe present’s Teatro Máscara Mágica’s acclaimed production of La Pastorela Noel by Max Branscomb, directed by William Virchis, playing in the Cassius Carter Centre Stage December 6 – 23.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Teatro Máscara Mágica’s award-winning, Mexican-inspired holiday musical is the newest twist on the traditional story of the shepherds’ journey to Bethlehem to witness the first Christmas. Called to action by Archangels Michael and Gabriel, the shepherds face temptation and danger from evil Lucifer and his nasty minions.

The bilingual script is primarily in English with more than a dozen beautiful Christmas carols sung in Spanish.

The pastorela is a folk art form that dates back to the beginning of Christianity. During the second century early Christians in hiding acted out the Christmas story to hand it down in the oral tradition. It survived as an underground movement until the Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity. The Spaniards brought it to Mexico in the 1540s and it became that country’s most popular form of theatre. More than 2,500 unique versions of the story are produced south of the border. Almost every city, town and village in Mexico has its own version of the pastorela.

La Pastorela is the tale of the shepherd’s journey to Bethlehem to witness the first Christmas—a journey fraught with temptations, distractions and mortal peril as the devils try to prevent the shepherds from reaching their special destination. This delightful morality play is full of choices and introspection, but presented with levity, music, and hilarious contemporary references.

This year’s production will also include La Posada, a longstanding Mexican Christmas tradition, in which actors and audience members re-enact Joseph and Mary’s journey through Bethlehem looking for shelter. The wanderers go from door to door, and are consistently refused sanctuary until they reach the manger where the Christ child is born. The name refers to the specific song (“Las Posadas”) that is sung in which tells of the search for shelter and the “homeowners” who turn them away. La Posada will take place on the Globe Plaza at about 30 minutes before curtain on the evening of each performance.

Performances take place at 7:30pm on December 6-11, 14-18, and 21-23; matinees December 10, 11, 17, 18 and 23 at 2pm. Tickets are $22 for adults, $16 for students/military/seniors, and $10 for children under 17. For tickets and information please call (619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623) or visit www.TheOldGlobe.org.

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