Nancy Richman's analytical paper on these short works: These are the words of Luis Valdez, himself the father of Chicano theater. In an essay that opens Early Works, a collection of short plays, Valdez writes that this kind of theater speaks to the life experiences of a people misrepresented and underrepresented in the arts and in other facets of society.
Much of the cast had scant acting experience. The story itself was a Brechtian take on a relatively obscure unsolved murder in Los Angeles; its climax involved a humiliating assault on a Latino man by racist United States servicemen.
Just a decade earlier, its writer and director, Luis Valdez, was creating short skits for audiences of striking farmworkers in the fields of the Central Valley in California. But audiences kept coming, and coming, selling out show after packed show.
Fans came one week and returned with their families the next; Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead is said to have seen the play 22 times. Valdez then directed a feature-film Zoot suit luis valdezwhich was released in The infamous Zoot Suit riots, a series of racially motivated attacks against Mexican-American youths in the summer offigures in as well.
The show is both a homecoming and a reunion. Four decades after its world premiere, Mr. Valdez, who is 76, is back as director. On a recent morning, the cast rehearsed a scene set in a Los Angeles dance hall.
Several men wore high-waisted trousers, long watch chains dangling from their belts; the women sported T-shirts, tights and sneakers. The men were strutting, the women spinning, but when a rival gang arrived, colorful curses flew, then fists, and before you knew it, the switchblades were out.
Bichir, who is Mexican, is an American Civil Liberties Union celebrity ambassador for immigration rights. For Luis Valdez, mixing the political and the theatrical is nothing new.
The group staged pro-union skits, which he wrote and directed, in halls and on the backs of flatbed trucks. Valdez met with Gordon Davidson, who was the director of the Taper then, about creating something for its New Theater for Now series. He arrived clutching a pamphlet about the Sleepy Lagoon murder that he had gotten years earlier from David Sanchez, the founder of the pro-Chicano organization the Brown Berets.
Univision and Hoy sponsored a party at the theater to celebrate the first day of ticket sales, complete with zoot-suited dancers and live swing music. Valdez feels its story is timeless, its themes part of an ever-repeating historical cycle.
Bichir and Tom G. McMahon had questions for Mr.
Valdez about how to tackle their roles as El Pachuco and the Press. Valdez said, is finding the human in the trickster spirit. The play presents lots of similar challenges for audiences.luis valdez () Actor, playwright, director of stage and screen, widely credited for being the “father of Chicano theatre.” Valdez was born in Delano, California – his parents were migrant farm workers, and as a child he moved around with them to work on the harvests around California.
Luis Valdez is a leading figure in Hispanic theater with outstanding achievements from a variety of venues from flatbed truck and conventional stages to the silver and small screens. With his many successes Valdez has remained a rebel and an innovator, as well as the re-creator of Hispanic traditions.5/5(1).
When Zoot Suit premiered on Broadway in , it made history as the first Chicano musical to do so. For director Luis Valdez, it was a career achievement — a crossover hit that delivered themes. Zoot Suit brings to life a racially-charged trial of the s, in which a group of pachucos, Mexican-American gang members, are charged and sentenced with the murder of another Mexican r-bridal.comight Luis Valdez depicts the trial of the Sleepy Lagoon Murder and the related Zoot Suit Riots of in a combination of docudrama, myth, and musical.
The first Chicano play on Broadway, Zoot Suit incorporates bilingual dialogue and alienated Mexican Americans.
The play grew out of California Chicano guerrilla theater. Luis Miguel Valdez.
Jan 01, · While Valdez's play follows the facts of the case faithfully, "Zoot Suit" isn't just the story of racial discrimination and injustice. The play is a statement on Mexican-American pride and Chicano Zoot Suit presents a look at a little known slice of L.A.
r-bridal.com play was inspired by the Zoot Suit Riots in /5.