Luiz Valdez

"The nature of Chicanismo calls for a revolutionary turn in the arts as well as in society. Chicano theater . . . must be popular, subject to no other critics except the pueblo itself; but it must also educate the pueblo toward an appreciation of social change, on and off the stage."

- Luis Valdez from Actos: El Teatro Campesino, published in Aztlán by Cucaracha Press, 1971
Luis Valdez and El Teatro Campesino began their theatrical journey during the Farmworkers Movement in Delano, California in 1965. The group worked collectively to develop the acto, a type of skit, which utilized stock characters and humor to educate and mobolize the people: "In a sense the acto is Chicano theater." El Teatro utilized the acto to: "Inspire the audience ot social action. Illuminate specific points about social problems. Satirize the opposition. Show or hint at a solution. Express what people are feeling." In 1967 El Teatro moved beyond the Farmworkers Movement in order to develop their theater so that it could reach a broader audience, be a more effective social weapon.

quotes from Actos: El Teatro Campesino by Luis Valdez and El Teatro
El Teatro Campesino used vibrant, visceral theater to awaken cultural pride in its audience. Its simple style and outrageous humor were purposeful: "No matter what you do on stage, you have to remain in contact with the people. Our work . . . a lot of people think its kind of rustic, because it's so simple and straight and obvious. The point is we can only stay a step ahead of our audience, and it has to be a very easy step for them to make, or they won't make it" (Drake, 5).

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