Acto Latino Presents Adaptations of Plays by Luis Valdez

 

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By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– “La Quinta Temporada” and “Los Vendidos” will be performed by the Cal State San Bernardino student theater group, Acto Latino, on Friday, Feb. 12.

The adaptations of the plays, written by Luis Valdez, begin at 8 p.m. in the university’s Santos Manuel Student Union Theater, room 107. Admission is $5; parking on campus is $6 per vehicle.

“La Quinta Temporada (The Fifth Season)” portrays the life of a farm laborer in search of work and encounters multiple oppressions faced by Mexican farm workers. Mistreated and exploited by “El Coyote,” his supervisor and boss, playwright Valdez personifies four seasons to highlight oppression, abuse and domination, until the farm worker becomes fed up and strikes. Demanding a fair contract with the help of the union, the play ends with a “Fifth Season” of social justice.

The second play, “Los Vendidos (The Sellouts),” follows four characters, two Mexican-Americans, Miss Jimenez, the secretary to Gov. Ronald Reagan, and her assistant, who are looking to purchase a Mexican person. At the shop of Pancha la Honesta (Honest Pancha), Jiménez explains that Mr. Reagan’s administration is looking to purchase “a Mexican type” to appeal to a larger voting crowd. Although Jiménez is herself obviously a Chicana (Mexican-American), she seems completely unaware of the cultural stereotypes displayed in each of the four characters.

An American playwright, Valdez founded Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista, Calif., in 1965.  Regarded as the father of Chicano theater in the United States and best known for his play “Zoot Suit” and the movie “La Bamba,” Valdez created the Teatro Campesino genre to entertain and educate migrant farmworkers. Valdez incorporates comedy, the oppression of Chicano farmworkers, and the belief that good triumphs over evil in hopes of encouraging change and bringing awareness.

Terry Smith, professor and chair of the CSUSB Theatre Arts Department, called Valdez “a god of U.S. theatre who has had great impact on our society through the use of theatre.”

Last year, Valdez collaborated with the CSUSB student group Acto Latino Teatro Universitario and their adviser, Bibiana Díaz-Rodríguez, assistant professor of Spanish in the department of world languages and literatures.

Valdez is also a recipient of the Peabody Award, the Aguila Azteca Award, and is a two-time Golden Globe nominee.

The Acto Latino Theater Group was founded for the purpose of fostering interest in Hispanic/Latino language, culture, and literature through the presentation of Spanish-language plays to a diverse audience.

For more information on this event, contact Bibiana Diaz-Rodriguez at (909) 537-3670 or by email at bidiaz@csusb.edu.

Set in the foothills of the beautiful San Bernardino Mountains, CSUSB is a preeminent center of intellectual and cultural activity in inland Southern California. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015-2016, CSUSB serves more than 20,000 students each year and graduates about 4,000 students annually.

For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s Office of Strategic Communication at (909) 537-5007 and visit news.csusb.edu.

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