Pastorela 2.0

Written by: Mabelle Reynoso
Directed by:Peter Cirino
Location:Don Powell Theatre

December 13, 2019 through December 22, 2019
$20 General/$17 Students


Every year for nearly three decades, the Mercado Nochebuena has put on a traditional pastorela, complete with a script that was allegedly written over a hundred years ago by a groundskeeper from the Convent of San Agustín in Acolman, Mexico. Led by the grocery store’s owner, Edgar Nochebuena and his daughter Alice, the Mercado Nochebuena community has faithfully executed the pastorela, making no changes to the script and continuing to use many of the same players that have participated in the show year after year. The show has become a symbol of hope for the community and a signature showpiece for the grocery store. But times are changing. The Mercado Nochebuena is struggling to keep tradition alive while competing with a brave new world where groceries are bought online and communities are forged through social media. The future is not looking good for the store. In what appears to be a Christmas miracle, for the first time ever, the Mercado Nochebuena Pastorela will be broadcast as a live musical event for a major network. This is initially seen as a blessing with all of the visibility and attention the store will get. But as reality sets in, compromises must be made, friendships will be tested, and all parties involved will be forced to question what they value and what they are willing to do to get what they want. Complete with an epic battle between Good and Evil and featuring a blend of musical numbers to include classic mariachi songs, traditional Christmas carols, and punk rock music, this is a modernized re-telling of the classic holiday pastorela.


Mabelle Reynoso is a Latinx playwright and filmmaker who has devoted her artistic career to building connections in communities through storytelling. Reynoso is a two-time winner of the California Young Playwrights contest ( Santa Does a Mitzvah , 1995 and Dreaming Pancho Villa, 1997). Since 2004, Reynoso has worked as a teaching artist and commissioned playwright for the nonprofit arts education organization Playwrights Project. Reynoso champions the potential impact of theatre in non-traditional theatre spaces, including classrooms, community centers, and correctional facilities. Her art is largely informed by her work with underserved and marginalized populations, including non-English speaking immigrants, expectant teens, foster youth, justice-involved youth, and incarcerated adults. Reynoso’s recent commissions include plays addressing the methamphetamine crisis in San Diego ( Other People’s Kids ), transgender women in a men’s prison ( Gender Identity Play ), and motherhood after incarceration ( Coffee, Cake, and Second Chances ). In 2019, Reynoso contributed to the TuYo production “UN” with One , a 10-minute play that explores educational equity and language. Reynoso’s latest project – Pastorela 2.0 – examines the importance of traditions and community in a changing world with a modernized retelling of the traditional holiday play. Reynoso was proudly born in Tijuana, Mexico. She has a BFA from New York University and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. In addition, Reynoso is adjunct faculty at San Diego State University where she has the opportunity to work with future schoolteachers to leverage the power of theatre in their own classrooms.


Guests and members of the community will be invited onstage as part of the cast. A conversation with the cast and creative team immediately follow every Sunday afternoon performance.


To arrange interviews with artists, contact producer Bernardo Mazón Daher .


Special thank you to Fredericka Manor Retirement Community and San Diego State University.

Seating Policy

Late seating is subject to availability and is not guaranteed. Patrons arriving after the start of the performance will be seated at the first available opportunity at the discretion of the house manager.

Children under the age of six are not permitted in the theatre, except for productions identified as “Theatre for Young Audiences”. Each individual attending the performance must have a ticket.

How to Park on Campus

All cars (even those with ADA placards/plates) need an SDSU parking permit to park in student or visitor spaces.

Save time and money by purchasing a parking permit prior to driving to campus. Through the Aztec Parking Portal create a guest account, purchase the $7/day permit and place the printed permit on your dash once parked in a student parking structure.

Permits can be purchased on campus at the top level of parking structure 12 for $3/hour, or via PayByPhone app (download prior to arriving on campus).