Mummified Deer and Other Plays

Mummified Deer and Other Plays

Mummified Deer and Other Plays

Mummified Deer and Other Plays

Synopsis

"Mummified Deer and Other Plays brings together three plays by Luis Valdez, the most distinguished Latino playwright and director. With an introduction by Chicano theater scholar Jorge Huerta, this collection includes two never-before-published dramas." "Mummified Deer is Valdez's mature exploration of the Yaqui Indian roots of Mexican-American culture and Valdez's own family. Returning to the format of the tent show, Valdez mines maternal psychology and Yaqui mysticism to demand that characters scale the full gamut of emotions. In this gut-wrenching piece, Mama Chu is the dominant, imposing figure who must reconcile the present with the past and unify the conflicting histories and identities of her family." "Mundo Mata is the long-awaited drama of unionizing farm workers battling the agribusiness power structure in California in a time when Mexican Americans are being sent off to battle brown-skinned enemies in Vietnam. Valdez assesses the toll that families have to pay to remain united against divisive forces. It all comes down to Reymundo, the antihero, who in the end must weigh existential and political questions." "The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa, Valdez's re-worked first play, still holds all the vision, spunk, and innovation of the young playwright. Injecting black humor into domestic drama, disembodied heads talk, mothers exchange roles with the patriarch, Pachucos banter, and sell-outs become the mouthpieces for an oppressed community." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Night. armida bravo, 54, appears downstage, looking up at the the deep sparkling blackness of the Cosmos. Santana’s “Black Magic Woman” plays softly under.

ARMIDA: If it hadn’t been for Carlos Castañeda, I never would have known what deep secrets Mama Chu was hiding. in the Spring of 1969, The Yaqui Way of Knowledge was a bestseller … in Berkeley … With tales of indio sorcerors, power spots and peyote hallucinations, Castañeda opened the doors of perception to parallel universes and blew the minds of my hippy generation … But for me, The Yaqui Way led back home … to reality. (Segue the musical strains of “Sonora Querida.” Lights change.) I was four when my mother died, so I was raised by my grandmother in San Diego. I remember whenever the radio, always tuned to the Mexican station in Tijuana, played “Sonora Querida.” Mama Chu would dance to the music as if it was the anthem of her soul. (An old woman enters gleefully waltzing toward the bed.) She ran a boarding house for immigrant workers. Her “mojaditos” as she called them. For over thirty years, she kept our large, transient family going—chronically broke and out of gas, always looking for the quick fix, a small loan, “just a couple of bucks ‘til payday, compadre,” as if poverty was our addiction … but it was Mama Chu we were hooked on…. (The woman crawls into the bed.) Whenever she got angry, she’d say: ¡No hagan que se me suba lo Yaqui! as if getting-her-Yaqui-indian-blood-up was like tempting God. I had to tempt God just to go to high school. Years later, when I told her I was going away to graduate school, she said it would break her heart. She left me no choice…. (She exits.)

Fade to back.

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