Adapted by Margarita Galban and Lina Montalvo from Gary Soto's book.
The story is set at Christmastime and revolves around its central character, Maria, a little girl from a Hispanic family. It is Christmas Eve, Maria and her mother are preparing tamales, a traditional dish served on Christmas Eve, for their family celebration that evening. As Maria’s mom teaches her how to prepare the tamales, she takes off her beautiful ring that was given to her by her husband, fearing that it might fall off into the masa. Maria admires the ring that her mom placed on the table, and in a moment of overwhelming temptation, and against her mother’s wishes she puts the ring on her finger.
Time passes, family members arrive, and Maria is busy playing with her cousins when suddenly she realizes that the ring is missing. In a panic, she fears that somehow the ring did fall in the masa, and was cooked into the tamales! She quickly enlists her cousins to eat all of the tamales until they find the ring. After eating too many tamales, Maria discovers that the ring was on her mom’s finger the whole time. Consequently, Maria and her cousins learn a very valuable lesson about listening and obeying their parents. All is well that ends well, and the children go to the kitchen to make more tamales. The play ends with an uplifting sing-a-long of Feliz Navidad.
Bilingual Foundation of the Arts
The mission of the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts (BFA) is to serve communities by presenting classic Spanish language drama and contemporary plays on Hispanic themes to English- and Spanish-speaking audiences, thereby bringing awareness of the diversity of the Hispanic culture through theater. Within this mission, BFA provides educational resources and training opportunities in the performing arts.
BFA’s vision is to positively affect the image and self-esteem of Hispanic people; to influence the inclusion of Hispanic cultural arts in public school curricula; to share the beauty of Hispanic drama with the entire community; and to create a pool of talented well-trained, experienced Hispanic theater artists.