Teatro Vivo is bringing back “La Pastorela,” a traditional holiday classic with a contemporary twist, presented at the Emma S. Barrientos-Mexican American Cultural Center, under the direction of Alexis A. Arredondo.
“La Pastorela” follows a group of pastores (shepherds) traveling to Belén, where the angel San Miguel has told them that the redeemer will be born. In this retelling, a group of DREAMers embody the “pastores” and are working toward a hopeful future. Along the way, they encounter devils that try to stop them, while angels intercede on their behalf. The classic battle between good and evil is woven with current issues that are important to our community.
“Not everyone gets to go home for the holidays,” Arredondo says. “This year, ‘La Pastorela’ gets its usual dose of fun-loving angels, zany demons, and joyous music, but with a little message of hope thrown in about our people.”
Pastorelas are one of the oldest and most enduring Christmas traditions in Mexico. Originally, the Mexican pastorela was a religious theater created for the purpose of converting “heathen natives.” Once appropriated by popular theater, it was never the same. Pastorelas take many forms and are vigorously influenced by invention and improvisation from the talent participating.
With humor, singing, and a live band directed by Clemencia Zapata, “La Pastorela” is sure to be a fun experience for the entire family. The show will run December 7-17, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m. Tickets start at $15. Children under 12 come in free with a donation of two canned food items. Thursdays are “Pay What You Wish” at the theatre, available an hour before the show.
This project is supported in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Department, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and FuturoFund.
More information at teatrovivo.org.