Latins Anonymous: Two Plays

Latins Anonymous: Two Plays

Latins Anonymous: Two Plays

Latins Anonymous: Two Plays

Synopsis

This collection includes the troupe's signature play, Latins Anonymous, which satirizes the rejection of one's cultural heritage and The La La Awards, in which Latino personalities suffer outlandish impersonations.

Excerpt

Before the Latino comedy group Latins Anonymous burst onto the theatrical scene in 1987, little Latino sketch comedy could be found in our ancient land of Aztlán. Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino published Actos, their raw, satirical, agitprop playlets over a decade before. These Actos, which had influenced a generation of Latino actors, dealt with the birth of Chicanismo and the plight of the farm worker. But who was going to speak to this new generation, which included sophisticated, mainstream, multi-national, urban dwellers whose American experience was more complex than that of their parents? Hence the birth of Latins Anonymous, whose sharp insight into the foibles of the vast immigrant experience brought a rare brand of irreverence, energy and confidence to the new American theatre scene.

When I first participated in Luis Valdez’ masterpiece Zoot Suit, at the Music Center of Los Angeles during the late ’70’s, we hoped it would herald a new beginning of Chicano theatre. But it has been too slow in coming. So when Latins Anonymous, the first of several such improvisational comedy groups, broke into our consciousness, their voices were strongly welcomed. At last, here was a group which addressed the unique, beautiful, sometimes mind-bending duality of the Latino/a living in el norte! The actors/writers themselves hailed from México, Colombia, Guatemala and the American Southwest, and their work revealed the hidden cadences of English, español, caló, and Spanglish.

Moreover, this new generation of comic performers integrated hard-edged “Saturday Night Live” sketch comedy with the fundamentals of teatro, which was based on the Mexican vaudeville tanda and honed on the backroad farmlands of Central California, Arizona and Texas. They created an amalgam which was truly their own by mixing the ganas (guts) . . .

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