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Experience a Tucson Holiday Tradition in its 20th Year

Borderlands Theater proudly presents a holiday favorite, the 20th Annual, A Tucson Pastorela written by Milta Ortiz and the ghost writers. Local theater professional Katherine Monberg directs. A Tucson Pastorela runs December 1- 11.


This holiday tradition remains generously infused with farcical satire lampooning 2016's biggest political and pop cultural events. The shepherds and their flock embark on a harrowing journey to find el baby Jesus, but must make it past Lucifer and her minions' traps fueled by disguises. Alas, Archangel Michael and his sidekick Gabriel are in tow with a few disguises of their own to outsmart those nasty devils and help bring Christmas cheer!


A Tucson Pastorela is synonymous with Borderlands Theater and holiday fun. The play is a Tucson staple that draws fans year after year, some even memorizing iconic phrases and repeating them with the actors on stage. During the holiday season, Borderlands Theater takes time to reminisce and poke fun at the year's major events. True to the Pastorela format, The Devils disguise themselves in some of the year's most memorable characters to trick the shepherds and stop them from welcoming el baby Jesus. It's a good thing that the angels are near with a few disguises of their own, typically iconic characters, to aid the pastores in reaching their destination. This being the year of the presidential election, you can imagine some of the characters that show up. As well as a well as characters and situations from a well recognized Broadway hit musical and a blockbuster TV series.

The tradition of the Pastorela dates back to the time of the Spanish missionaries. In that vein, A Tucson Pastorela is steeped in Catholic tradition and folklore and updated to be more of a farcical ride. The newer tradition calls for rhyming couplets, which makes the play seem more like a long song. A Tucson Pastorela draws on traditional Pastorela/Christmas songs as well as iconic and popular songs.


The play employs three youth actors to play the dog and sheep and is intended to be family friendly. There are jokes for everyone! Some kid humor, some adult fun, some physical comedy and at times a wink to the audience. While some of the political satire might be more for the grown ups, the spectacle is sure to impress one and all.


Milta Ortiz a playwright from the Bay Area who now calls Tucson home. Currently working on Solving for X (playwright/director) for the Working Classroom, and Sanctuary. As an NNPN playwright in residence at Borderlands Theater, she wrote and developed Más, selected to the Latino Theater Commons Carnaval play festival, and premiered at Borderlands Theater in fall 2015, nominated for an American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award and Citations, and a Tucson Mac award for best drama. Más was co-produced in the Bay Area by Laney College in March 2016 and Ubuntu Theater Project in May 2016 and an Arizona University tour in the 2016/17 season. Other produced plays include Sonoran Shadows (a shadow play,) 19th Annual A Tucson Pastorela, Disengaged, 18th Annual A Tucson Pastorela, Fleeing Blue (university production,) Scatter My Red Underwear. Milta received individual artist grants to write, develop and produce her solo work in the Bay Area. As a founding member of the HyPE theater ensemble, she devised pieces to be performed site specifically and on stage. She teaches theater at Pima Community College. Milta earned an M.F.A. from Northwestern University's Writing for the Screen and Stage program and a Creative Writing B.A. from San Francisco State University.


Katherine Monberg is a freelance director and dramaturg based in Tucson, Arizona. Recent directing work includes Middletown, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Beauty and the Beast: a Fairy-Tale Thriller, and Elephant's Graveyard for Arizona Theatre Company's Summer on Stage; Octagon, Samsara andSpark for ATC's Café Bohemia; staged readings of Germaine Shames' The Abstract Life presented by SheWorxx; and the world premiere of Savage Bond at Beowulf Alley Theatre Company. She is also the Literary Manager at Arizona Theatre Company, where she works as a dramaturg, copyeditor, teaching artist, and supervisor of the dramaturgical and literary internship program, in collaboration with the University of Arizona. She is also currently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration at the U of A.


Temple of Music and Art Cabaret Theater, 330 S Scott Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701. Tickets: $8-$22.50

12/1/16 - 7:30 pm ($10/$14/$19.50/$23.50)

12/2/16 - 7:30 pm ($10/$14/$19.50/$23.50)

12/3/16 - 7:30 pm ($10/$14/$19.50/$23.50)

12/4/16 - 2 pm Matinee ($10/$14/$19.50/$23.50)

12/8/16 - 7:30 pm ($10/$14/$19.50/$23.50)

12/9/16 - 7:30 pm ($10/$14/$19.50/$23.50)

12/10/16 - 7:30 pm ($10/$14/$19.50/$23.50)

12/11/16 - 2 pm Matinee ($10/$14/$19.50/$23.50)



(520) 882-7406.

In person at 4O W. BROADWAY, TUCSON 85701.


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