Luis Valdez -- Early Works: Actos, Bernabe, and Pensamiento Serpentino

Luis Valdez -- Early Works: Actos, Bernabe, and Pensamiento Serpentino

Luis Valdez -- Early Works: Actos, Bernabe, and Pensamiento Serpentino

Luis Valdez -- Early Works: Actos, Bernabe, and Pensamiento Serpentino

Synopsis

This collection includes one-act plays by the famous farmwork theater, El Teatro Campesino, and its director Luis Valdez; one of the first fully realized, fulllength plays by Valdez alone; and an original narrative poem by Luis Valdez.

Excerpt

As part of its 25th Anniversary Celebration, El Teatro Campesino and Founder/Artistic Director Luis Valdez are proud to offer this collection of work which chronicles significant stages of the group's evolution. El teatro Campesino is about evolution. The group has experienced several transformations since its inception on the strike lines of the Delano Grape Strike in 1965 all by design. El Teatro Campesino is a mirror to the dynamism of life which is in constant flux or, according to Valdez, continuously "shedding its dead skin" like the god Quetzalcoatl. Once a new goal or plateau has been attained the process towards the next objective immediately begins.

El Teatro under the guidance of Valdez has always been close to the pulse of life (and death simultaneously). As Maestro Valedz states in his Notes on Chicano Theatre, "...if La Raza won't go to the teatro then the teatro must go to La Raza." El Teatro was born to express the verisimilitude of the striking campesinos' reality. Contrary to popular belief, the birth of the acto genre was not necessarily a Chicano version of simplistic slapstick agit-prop. Although the acto's initial objective was to propagandize the issues of the strike, its structure was designed to accommodate a healthy mixture of minimalism and humor, combined with a large does of corazón. This formula successfully served as a catalyst to propel the ideas and emotions of the acto through the physical presence of the players in performance. The immediate result of these elements fused together in a meeting hall or on a flat-bed truck was a sense of campesino reality campesino truth. This subjective, elusive quality cut through any superfluous rhetoric or production quality concerns because it was raw and immediate. It was unavoidable, it was there. And it was produced, acted, directed, designed and improvised by the campesinos themselves.

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