Art & Culture

La Pastorela: A Review

What happens when a theater company taps into cultural consciousness and takes an old trope like "good versus evil" and makes it new?

La Pastorela: A Review
Rachelle Linda Escamilla

One of the most frustrating things about art, sometimes, is that the same old cliches and tropes are used over and over again and establish residence in our cultural consciousness. That cultural consciousness thus reproduces itself creating a loop of “Eh, nothing new” – but what happens when a theater company can tap into that cultural consciousness and take some old trope like "good versus evil" and make it new?

"La Pastorela" is a story of good versus evil inside the realm of the people. It is an imaginative experience which requires its audience members to shed any of their expectations and to imagine beyond the players in front of you, beyond the Mission San Juan Bautista.

El Teatro Campesino is taking that which is old, sometimes sacred, and often times controversial and instead of asking their audience to judge or analyze, they’re asking you to enjoy – enjoy the comparisons between King Lear’s Fool and La Pastorela’s Hermit; allow yourself the pleasure to be engulfed in the rhetoric that is being created around you: until you see the cheese grater hanging from Cuchara’s crook and remember that you have dishes to do at home.

For more information about "La Pastorela," which runs through Dec. 20, visit El Teatro Campesino's website.


Rachelle Escamilla

Rachelle Escamilla is the host of "Out of Our Minds" on KKUP, author of "Imaginary Animal" and a columnist for Mission Village Voice.