La Pastorela-Hermitaño-Photo by Robert Eliason.jpg

Once again this holiday season, El Teatro Campesino presents its biennial Christmas spectacle,La Pastorela, keeping the folk traditions of Spanish California alive in the beautiful Old Mission San Juan Bautista in a play adapted by Luis Valdez and directed by Joe Luis Cedillo.


La Pastorela follows the trek of humble shepherds as they encounter the Angel of the Lord, who announces the birth of the Redeemer in Bethlehem. Embarking on their spiritual journey in search of the Holy Child, the scruffy shepherds find themselves beset by the demonic followers of Luzbel and Satanas, who waylay them with obstacles born of their own human frailties.


 One of the masterpieces of the centuries-old tradition, La Pastorela vibrates with stirring action, vivid color, and robust humor-all set to glorious live music and dance-throughout the mission basilica. Performed in Spanish for over thirty years, La Pastorela reaches all audiences with El Teatro Campesino’s broad visual acting style and English Librettos.


 Director Joe Luis Cedillo is an Artist-in-Residence at El Teatro Campesino. He is Artistic Director for Company of Strangers based in Los Angeles, Associate Artistic Director for Texas State’s Black and Latino Playwright’s Conference, and a Member of the Unit Collective @The Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis.  His work has appeared in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Hollywood Fringe Festival, Radar LA, and LA’s Edge of the World Theater Festival. Since arriving in San Juan Bautista in March, Cedillo has directed a production of his own play “7, 8ight,9…” conducted community workshops at ETC in scene study and playwriting, wrote the screenplay for an educational short “Maurya’s Kick,” and served as Co-Producer and Sound Designer on Luis Valdez’s “Valley of the Heart.”


This holiday season, become a shepherd and make the trek to see the Holy Child in La Pastorela in the Old Mission San Juan Bautista. Come early and enjoy the many quaint shops and world class restaurants that San Juan Bautista has to offer. Bring the whole familia!


La Pastorela runs November 29th through December 22nd. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 4:00pm and 7:30pm


The Old Mission San Juan Bautista is located at 406 Second Street, San Juan Bautista, CA 95045 in Historic San Juan Bautista.


Tickets are available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week online at or by calling 1-800-838-3006. For group rates, please call 831.623.2444.