The activities of the group go back to the beginning of the eighties, when, in 1981 and 1982, we performed the shepherds’ story, based on a text by an unknown author. The group was responsible for all the costumes and stage equipment and gave performances in several towns in the region. In those days, we did not have anywhere to perform, so we had to convert a warehouse into a small theatre, which proved to be more work than the rehearsals themselves. At the end of 1983, as we did not have our own premises where we could perform the shepherds’ story again, we considered performing some of the Nativity in the town’s streets. The Nativity had 8 scenes, 33 actors and a budget of 20,000 pesetas.
The route and the number of scenes performed continued to grow until the fifth edition, in 1987, when there were 40 staged representations and nearly 100 actors. Regional press and radio began to take notice. The poster for the next edition, which was based on a painting by Josep Minguell, showing a bird’s eye view of the layout of a town, was published by the Lleida Regional Council. It was in this, the sixth edition, when we seriously tried introducing the trades into the route of the Nativity. In previous editions, these trades had been added to the biblical scenes, but still with no real documented historical background. From the ninth edition onwards and throughout the whole year, we collected information on all the regional trades, paying particular interest to the tools, raw materials and techniques used. These trades have been introduced gradually into the route of the Nativity. We were able to get the owners to lend or sell us these old tools and which now form part of the Nativity scene. The owners gave us their full cooperation, sometimes at a modest price, other times on loan, and we were able to recover some of the tools of the disappearing trades and, perhaps more importantly, get the great satisfaction on both sides that all this material can be seen by everyone for a few days during the route. To celebrate the tenth anniversary, we published a book containing colour photographs and over 110 pages showing a route with most of the Nativity scenes and an explanation of the most important trades and related tools. For the first time the number of spectators exceeded 6,000.
Some 300 actors took part and the route covered the whole of the old town, where emergency lighting was installed and car parks, emergency and public services and bars, etc were improved. The Association, together with the Town Council, bought a house with the aim of converting it into a museum by using part the budget every year for improvements. Our FOURTEENTH EDITION, in 1996, was awarded the World Theatre 96 International Prize by the Sant Jordi Theatre Workshop Cultural Association. At the FIFTEENTH EDITION, we took part in the TV3 Telethon, in aid of congenital illnesses, with a specially prepared route to be shown in a live ten-minute slot during the programme.