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Press Release

La Pastorela at The Center
Local Community Members Perform Traditional Mexican Nativity Play

ESCONDIDO, CA (November 8, 2002) La Pastorela is back by popular demand for a second year at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. The play directed by Dora Arreola and written by Tijuana playwright Ursula Tania is based on the traditional Mexican nativity story. Performances are Friday, December 6 at 8PM and Saturday, December 7 at 2PM and 8PM. Tickets are $10.00. The play focuses on the conflict between good and evil as experienced by the pastores or shepherds on their journey to witness the birth of Jesus.

The Center and co-producer Cal State San Marcos have been collaborating since 1994 to present Latino theater and Spanish language productions in North County. This production of La Pastorela makes the performing arts experience more accessible to audiences of Mexican heritage and integrates this heritage into the broader community building endeavors at the heart of The Center’s mission.

Natasha Martinez, Director of Visual Arts and Education at the Center, says, "La Pastorela is a wonderful project that enables The Center to carry out its mission to promote the arts and their power for community building. It beautifully supports our educational goals to provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn about the arts and explore their own creativity. We are delighted to continue this collaboration with Cal State San Marcos that contributes so much to the North County community."

This play offers students and community members the thrilling opportunity to participate in a professional production. The project also enables the Latino community to share a much beloved tradition with community members and patrons of other cultural traditions. The production includes a cast of eleven characters, as well as musicians and features songs and dance from various regions in Mexico. This year’s cast includes young people, from all over North County, so inspired by last year’s presentation that they waited all year in order to participate.

Dora Arreola, an accomplished director who has worked extensively in Mexico, the United States and Europe, directs the play. She notes: "This project gives us the opportunity to contribute to the cultural life of North County. It has initiated a new dramatic tradition that we hope will continue to grow in the years to come."

Performance of La Pastorela has been a tradition in the American Southwest since 1848. The Pastorela was first brought to Mexico by Franciscan priests in the sixteenth century. Catholic priests staged lively interpretations of key Biblical stories incorporating song and dance to engage new converts in the drama of Christian faith.

Since its introduction more than 400 years ago, La Pastorela has become a holiday tradition in all regions of Mexico and its contemporary performance reflects regional variations in song and dance.

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Calendar Information
La Pastorela
Friday, December 6, 2002 8pm
Saturday, December 7, 2002 2 & 8pm
Ticket price: $10.00
Tickets/Information: 1-800-988-4253
California Center for the Arts, Escondido
340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido