December 3, 2004

Teatro Máscara Mágica’s La Pastorela de los Inmigrantes Spreads Humor and Inspiration at the Old Globe

The Old Globe will present Teatro Máscara Mágica’s (TMM) acclaimed production of La Pastorela de los Inmigrantes by Max Branscomb, directed by William Virchis, to play in the Cassius Carter Centre Stage December 10 – 23.

Celebrating its 14th anniversary this year, TMM’s award-winning, Mexican-inspired Christmas musical is better than ever. Where else would theatre lovers see Michael the Archangel, Lucifer, Donald Trump, Mucha Lucha and other modern-day icons share the stage?

La Pastorela de los Inmigrantes is TMM’s 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.

A pastorela is the tale of the shepherd’s journey to Beth-lehem to witness the first Christmas. It is the side plot of the nativity, a journey fraught with temptations, distractions and mortal peril as the devils try to prevent the shepherds from reaching their special destination. It is a traditional morality play full of choices and introspection, but presented with levity, music, beautiful costumes and poetic dialogue.

Teatro Máscara Mágica and The Old Globe developed and produced the first English language pastorela in San Diego in 1991 at the Globe. Following a tradition established by Globe Education Associate Raúl Moncada, who wrote the 1991 pastorela, Branscomb’s devils and angels are masters of disguise who appear throughout the shepherd’s journey as historic and contemporary characters.

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 approximately 30 minutes before curtain on the evening of each performance, with traditional Mexican holiday food and drink.

Performances take place at 7:30pm on December 10-12; 16-19, and 21-23; matinees December 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 2pm. Tickets are $20 for adults, $14 for students/military/seniors and groups of 15 or more, and $8 for children under 17.

For reservations and information call (619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623) or visit

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