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

By Luis Valdez | Go to book overview

The Actos

Nothing represents the work of El Teatro Campesino (and other teatros Chicanos) better than the acto. In a sense, the acto is Chicano theatre, though we are now moving into a new, more mystical dramatic form we have begun to call the mito. The two forms are, in fact, cuates that complement and balance each other as day goes into night, el sol la sombra, la vida la muerte, el pájaro la serpiente. Our rejection of white western European (gabacho) proscenium theatre makes the birth of new Chicano forms necessary, thus, los actos y los mitos; one through the eyes of man, the other through the eyes of God.

The actos were born quite matter of factly in Delano. Nacieron hambrientos de la realidad. Anything and everything that pertained to the daily life, la vida cotidiana, of the huelguistas became food for thought, material for actos. The reality of campesinos on strike had become dramatic, (and theatrical as reflected by newspapers, TV newscasts, films, etc.) and so the actos merely reflected the reality. Huelguistas portrayed huelguistas, drawing their improvised dialogue from real words they exchanged with the esquiroles (scabs) in the fields everyday.

"Hermanos, compañeros, sálganse de esos files."
"Tenemos comida y trabajo para ustedes afuera de la huelga."
"Esquirol, ten vergu enza."
"Unidos venceremos."
"¡Sal de ahi barrigón!
"

The first huelguista to portray an esquirol in the teatro did it to settle a score with a particularly stubborn scab he had talked with in the fields that day. Satire became a weapon that was soon aimed at known and despised contractors, growers and mayor- domos. The effect of those early actos on the huelguistas de

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

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Contents iii
  • Preliminary Note on This Edition 1
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes on Chicano Theatre 6
  • The Actos 11
  • Actos 15
  • Preface 16
  • Las Dos Caras Del Patroncito 17
  • Quinta Temporada 1966 28
  • Los Vendidos 1967 40
  • La Conquista De Mexico (a Puppet Show) 53
  • No Saco Nada De La Escuela 1969 66
  • The Militants 1969 91
  • Huelguistas 1970 95
  • Vietnam Campesino 98
  • Soldado Razo 1971 121
  • Bernabé 134
  • Pensamiento Serpentino - A Chicano Approach to the Theatre of Reality 168
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