February 2, 2010
Tickets for El Teatro Campesino's 2010 season opener, featuring 'Los
Vendidos' and 'Los Olivos Pits' are on-sale now. This will be the
first time that 'Los Vendidos' will be performed at the San Juan
'Los Vendidos,' uses Luis Valdez' characteristic style, includes a
deceptively simple plot, ingenious humorous episodes, and a
surprising reversal of events for its closure.
Valdez was a San Jose State University drama graduate in the early
1960s when he decided to join the United Farm workers Organizing
Committee (UFWOC) led by César Chávez in Delano, California. His
decision was guided by a political and artistic vision: creating a
popular theater that would serve as support to the organizational
activities of the striking farm workers, thus El Teatro Campesino-The
Farm workers' Theater-was born.
Before Valdez founded El Teatro Campesino, he worked with R.G. Davis
and The San Francisco Mime Troupe. It was during this time as a
member of the S.F. Mime Troupe Valdez gained valuable experience in
translating controversial social issues into political theater.
Agitprop Theater, the epic theater of Bertold Brecht and Italian
Commedia dell'arte, inspired Valdez. Valdez studied the use of these
influences from the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Bread and Puppet Theater.
'Los Vendidos' is partnered with the Commedia dell'arte adaptation of
'Los Olivos Pits,' directed by Davis, the founder of the San
Francisco Mime Troupe; 'Pits' has special significance and connection
to the early years of El Teatro Campesino. The last time Davis worked
with ETC in San Juan was in 1972.
After leaving the SFMT in 1970, Davis was invited to San Juan
Bautista by Valdez to direct a workshop production of 'Olivos Pits.'
Davis chose to revive 'Pits' after he directed the piece for the SFMT
in 1966, "when the troupe was a radical organization," Davis
continues, "'Pits' is an opportune piece for its timeliness."
'Olive Pits' was originally adapted for the SFMT by Peter Cohon and Peter Berg.
The 2010 production of "Los Olivos Pits," benefits from both the
SFMT's long run from 1966-69. In addition two Teatro actors who
worked with Davis in 1972-San Juan's Rosa Apodaca and San Jose
resident Eduardo Robledo Jr.-will be returning to work with Davis at
El Teatro again in 2010. In addition to Apodaca and Robledo Jr.,
Teatro favorites Christy Sandoval and Adrian Torres will be
performing in both 'Los Olivos Pits' and 'Los Vendidos.'
Both 'Los Vendidos' and 'Los Olivos Pits' are short plays that are
centered on the idea of the 'con.' Con artists make money through
deception. They lie, cheat and fool people into thinking they've
happened onto a great deal or some easy money, when in fact, it is
the con artists themselves whom are the ones making the money. If
that doesn't work, they'll take advantage of people's
weaknesses-loneliness, insecurity, poor health or simple ignorance.
The only thing more important to a con artist than perfecting a con
is perfecting a total lack of conscience.
What does the average con artist look like? Despite what some may
think, he isn't always a shady-looking character. A con artist is an
expert at looking however he needs to look. If the con involves
banking or investments, the con artist will wear a snappy suit. If it
involves home improvement scams, he'll show up wearing well-worn work clothes.
Valdez' 'Los Vendidos' is a one-act play by the Chicano playwright
and Founding Artistic Director of El Teatro Campesino. Valdez wrote
'Los Vendidos' in 1967 and it was first performed at the Brown Beret
junta in Elysian Park, East Los Angeles. The play examines Latino
stereotypes in California and how local, state, and federal
governments manipulate people.
The play is set in Honest Sancho's Used Mexican Lot and Mexican Curio
Shop, a fictional Californian store that sells various "models" of
stereotypical Mexicans and Mexican-Americans that buyers can
manipulate by simply snapping their fingers and calling out commands.
Again this year, El Teatro Campesino will be offering special
'Recession-Buster' ticket prices. All Thursday night shows, all seats
just $5. All Friday night shows, all seats just $10. Tickets for
Saturday Nights and Sunday Matinees, Adults/$12, Seniors (55+) &
Students/$10 and Children (-12)/$8. These ticket prices are good
through March 14.
There are many ways people can support El Teatro Campesino, a 501c3
non-profit arts organization besides attending performances. There
are opportunities to become a personal or business sponsor of El
Teatro Campesino for as little as $50-or people can purchase a 1/4 ad
in our playbills for as little as $100. In return for supporting El
Teatro in these fashions, members' names, organizations or businesses
will be included on El Teatro's newly redesigned website. There are
also special gifts for those making tax-deductible donations,
including special 'sneak-peek' insights to ETCs all-original
theatrical works being created in the company's 'Teatro Lab.'
Previews for 'Los Olivos Pits' and 'Los Vendidos' begin on Feb. 13,
with the shows' official opening on Feb. 20. Performances are
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sunday matinees at 2pm.
Special ticket prices for Thursdays-$5, and Fridays-$10. Ticket
prices for Saturday nights and Sunday matinees are $12/adults,
$10/seniors and students, and $8 for children under 12. Special group
rates available for groups of 20 or more. Tickets will go on sale in
mid January. For tickets or more information call 831.623.2444 or
visit www.elteatrocampesino.com. Box-office hours are Monday through
Friday from 10am to 5pm. El Teatro Campesino Playhouse is at 705
Fourth Street in Historic San Juan Bautista.