A Tucson Pastorela

written by Wendy Burk, Eric Magrane, and the Pastorela Ghost Writers

directed by Eva Tessler

“…merry Pastorela reflects the spirit of Tucson…”
—The Tucson Weekly

Join us once more for a cherished Tucson family tradition for the Sweet 16th time!
Once again shepherds, dog and sheep march towards Belen to witness the nativity. What are Lucifer and his minions planning this time? Will Glorious Michael and Cool Gabriel be able to save the travelers from the eternal haboob, or roasting in Phoenix-like heat? The fun continues with lovely Christmas carols in Spanish and English accompanied by Gertie & the T.O. Boyz rocking Waila band! Piñatas for the niños after every show!

Supported by Friends of the Pastorela
Undewriter: Catherene Morton Phd.J.D.

December 15-18

Tucson Convention Center, Leo Rich Theater
260 S. Church Ave.

Wendy Burk and Eric Magrane


Wendy Burk and Eric Magrane have written poetry together in National Parks from the largest island in Lake Superior to the swampy glades of Southern Florida. Wendy is also a translator of Spanish; Kore Press published While Light Is Built, her book of translations of Mexican poet Tedi López Mills, in 2004. Eric is the editor of Spiral Orb, an experiment in permaculture poetics found at www.spiralorb.net. A recent collaboration, with composer Erica Quin-Easter, is (F)light, a choral song cycle about the U.S./Mexico and U.S./Canada borderlands that premiered in May 2011 in Portland, Maine.


Gertie Lopez

band director, “Gertie and the T.O. Boys”

My name is Gertrude Lopez better known as “Gertie”. I am a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. I come from a very small village called Chui-Chu. I am currently the proud leader of my band called “Gertie & The T.O. Boyz. T.O. Stands for Tohono O’odham. The music we play is called “Waila” music it means Dance in the Tohono O’odham language also known as Chicken Scratch music. Back in the 1700’s a Waila band consisted in Violins & guitars and a big drum. Today the instruments usually consist of an accordion, guitar, bass guitar, drums, saxophone, and many different types of percussions. I have been playing Waila music for approximately 40 years. Waila Music consists of polka, Chotes or two step, cumbias, mazurka which is also a two step type of song and the famous Kwalya which is like a square dance song. I play the drums, guitar, bass guitar, specializing in the accordion. I also sing vocals in my band. In 2010 my band was nominated in the Waila section at the Native American Music Awards. In 2010 and 2011 my band won the battle of the bands two years in a row on the Gila River Indian Reservation. In the 2011 battle of the bands I also received the award for the best Accordion player. In 2011 we also received an award from the L.U.L.A.C. organization for our Waila music contributions to Borderland theaters in memory of Albert Soto who was a star actor for “A Tucson Pastorela” the play which we have had the opportunity to be part of with our Waila music for the past 12 years. I have also had the opportunity to perform my Waila music in Los Angeles and San Jose California, and in Niagara Falls, New York at the Native American Awards V.I.P. Gathering. My band has played all over Arizona, we also had the opportunity to play in honor of the Inaugurations’ for the Tohono O’odham and San Carlos Apache Indian Reservations Chairmans. I have 4 recorded Cds with Waila music and currently working on recording my 5th CD. In my fourth CD I have added a violin to my group the violin in my band represents the entire past violin players which the Waila music first begins with. I am the only female band leader on the Tohono O’odham Nation. I currently reside in Tucson Arizona where I had played Waila music in a local bar called Antonio’s Bar for approximately 18 years till the bar shut down in around 2008. I currently am the house band for a local bar called The Office Bar here in Tucson. When I am not playing at the Office bar I am out playing for private or public parties. I love playing my Waila music. My Music is Prayer for me and I Love it.