Luis Valdez: Aesthetics of El Teatro Campesino
March 15, 7:30 pm CSUN Theatre RSVP here (free)
Luis Valdez, acclaimed Chicano playwright and filmmaker, will discuss, with Theatre professor Jorge Huerta, Valdez’s career and his new book, Theatre of the Sphere: The Vibrant Being—an actor’s guide that fuses ancient Mayan and contemporary Western performance aesthetics within an interdisciplinary framework. The book is also an insight into the unique aesthetic process of Teatro Campesino—from shows staged on the backs of flatbed trucks by the participants in the Delano Grape Strike of the 1960s to international hits like the 1979 play Zoot Suit, the first Latino-authored play to appear on Broadway. Teatro Campesino served as the catalyst for the first Chicano Theatre Festival in Fresno (1970) and as the avant-garde of a young, creative, and politically engaged Chicano theatre that bloomed in California and across the country. Valdez’s now classic films, Zoot Suit (1981) and La Bamba (1987) also helped shaped the first wave of Chicanx-Latinx filmmakers that paved the way for others to enter that industry as shapers of their own image. The event will be accompanied with a display of dozens of images by photojournalists John Kouns and Emmon Clarke, as part of the Tom and Ethel Bradley Center’s Farmworker Movement Collection. These photographs capture the Teatro Campesino early performances in union meetings, in the fields, in marches, and in college campuses. Note: There will be sign language interpreters at this event.
Sponsors: The Diversity & Equity Innovation Grant of the President’s Commission on Diversity & Inclusion; the University Student Union; Graduate Studies Distinguished Visiting Speakers Program; the Tom and Ethel Bradley Center, the Departments of Theatre, Chicana and Chicano Studies, Cinema and Television Arts, and Journalism; and the University Library.
You can watch some videos of the Farmworker Movement Collection, documenting the experiences of participants of the Farmworker Movement, by going to our YouTube channel's Farmworker Movement Collection playlist.
In addition are the collections of Edward Alfano; David Blumenkrantz, documenting various regions of Africa; Herb Carleton, covering the San Fernando Valley; Emmon Clarke, containing extensive documentation of the United Farmworkers organization and César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, Gibert Padilla, Luis Valdez and other leaders of the union and its members; and Richard Cross, that documents the wars in El Salvador and Honduras, the Afro-Columbian community Palenque de San Basilio (near Cartagena), Cuba, the Masai and the Maya refugee camps in Mexico.
The Bradley Center has a Border Studies Collection that examines the issues surrounding the border between the United States and Mexico. Through photographic collections, oral histories, manuscripts, videos, newspaper archives and guest lectures issues such as immigration, human rights, globalization, and economic violence are examined.
The Bradley Center and University Library have added over 5,000 images to the Charles Williams collection online!