WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
In 1965, on the picket lines of Cesar Chavez's Delano Grape Strike, Luis Valdez founded El Teatro Campesino when he and a group of workers began producing short skits or "actos" to dramatize the conditions of migrant farmworkers, with the workers themselves playing the parts. The company went on to work with Peter Brook, win Obie Awards, and present the first play by a Latino writer on Broadway, Valdez's Zoot Suit, the film version of which would also earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical or Comedy.
To celebrate the company's 50th Anniversary, Public Forum presents two of those original actos as part of its celebrated Drama Club series with a cast of major Latino talents and thinkers, including Valdez and his son Lakin Valdez, artist-in-residence with Teatro Campesino, as well as journalist and activist Maria Hinojosa and spoken word artist and playwright Lemon Andersen. With immigration and the plight of the working class once more in the news, these sharp, funny plays will provoke an illuminating discussion into whether art can change social policy and how protest can also be poetry.