La Pastorela

A Beloved Tradition For Nearly 50 years…

Pastorelas, or Shepherds Plays, originated in medieval Europe as religious dramas and were later brought to the “new world” and Alta California by the Spanish missionaries. “La Pastorela” recreates the long trek of those first pastores to the holy site of the Nativity. The Lucifer character or Luzbel and his demons attempt to thwart the shepherds from reaching Bethlehem and the Holy Manger. However, in a dynamic clash of good against evil, San Miguel, the Archangel, and an army of angels overpower the demonic powers of Luzbel and the shepherds are at last free to complete their journey. An adaptation of “La Pastorela” based on a traditional version from San Luis Potosi in Mexico was originally created in 1975 by Luis Valdez and premiered first as a puppet show. The original script was provided by Longina Montoya of Hollister, CA. The play was later transformed into a street theater spectacle from 1977-79 before settling as a play performed inside Mission San Juan Bautista. In 1991, it was adapted into a film starring Linda Ronstadt and Cheech Marin, becoming El Teatro Campesino’s first feature length film, and in 2019 “La Pastorela” was performed inside the ETC Playhouse for the first time. “La Pastorela” has been performed in San Juan Bautista biannually during the holiday season, alternating with “La Virgen del Tepeyac” – making these holiday productions ETC’s longest running tradition.


Tickets on Sale Now!

Performances Nov 30-Dec 17th, 2023


Thursday, November 30, 2023 8pm

Friday, December 1, 2023 8pm

Saturday, December 2, 2023 8pm

Sunday, December 3, 2023 2pm

Thursday,  December 7, 2023 8pm

Friday, December 8, 2023 8pm

Saturday, December 9, 2023 8pm

Sunday, December 10, 2023 2pm

Thursday,  December 14, 2023 8pm

Friday, December 15, 2023 8pm

*ADDED Saturday, December 16, 2023 2pm

Saturday, December 16, 2023 8pm

Sunday, December 17, 2023 2pm


Adults $35

Students/Seniors (60+) $30

Children (12 and under) $15

Group rates available for 20 or more.  Call (831) 623-2444 for more info.


Online Offerings of La Pastorela: Spanish Radio Production & Video Rental

From the ETC Archives

1984 Television Highlight. Scenes from El Teatro Campesino’s “La Pastorela” performed inside Mission San Juan Bautista. Interviews feature: Andres Gutierrez, Kinan Valdez, Diane Rodriguez, Tony Curiel, and Roberta Delgado.

1980 Television Special. Scenes from “La Pastorela” performed by El Teatro Campesino in Mission. Actors include: Luis Oropeza, Yolanda Parra, Robert Beltran, Angela Moya, Andres Chavez. Narrated by Roberta Delgado.


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