Collection Title: El Teatro Campesino collection
Title: Bandido!
Date: 1998
Location: Performed at El Teatro Campesino Playhouse, San Juan Bautista, California, in 1998.
El Teatro Campesino, producer; Luis Valdez, director, writer; Daniel Valdez, musical director.
Kinan Valdez, Tom Pintello, Olga Lydia Urbano, Lakin Valdez, Sandra Longoria, Cesar Flores, Seth Millwood, Anahuac Valdez, Jeremiah Martinez, Luis Juarez.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 02:01:28
Language: In English, with some Spanish.
Synopsis: Founded in 1965 by Luis Valdez, El Teatro Campesino was initially the cultural wing of the United Farm Workers union in California's central valley. With a pointed political mission, ETC performed their actos in the fields, agitprop improvisations communicated eloquently with the workers, who could neither read nor write, but recognized themselves and their values in the actos. By 1970 ETC had gained an international reputation, with major contributions to Chicano culture in the U.S. and to the development and expansion of the boundaries of theater everywhere. Theirs is a popular theater rooted in the American streets, early California history, Mayan/Aztec mythology and Mexican folklore and spiritualism, all geared toward expression of social, political and cultural perceptions. Bandido! deals with the life and times, and subsequent death of Tiburcio Vasquez, the last of the Mexican California resistance fighters. Written in 1979/1980, 'Bandido!' was first staged by ETC in 1982, as part of a celebration of 19th Century history in San Juan Bautista, where Vasquez himself lived from 1863-1865. The events of the play cover the last desperate robbery by Vasquez and his followers in Tres Pinos, CA and their pursuit by lawmen and their posses across the state all the way to Los Angeles, where the notorious bandit was wounded and captured. His notoriety inspired an impresario to stage the capture of Vasquez in an instant melodrama, which was a big hit in an LA theater, while the bandit was behind bars in the city jail. As a bilingual poet and 'ladies man', Vasquez had all the makings of a matinée idol and despite the unsavory nature of his crimes he was visited by women until the end. Playwright Luis Valdez thought the layering of melodrama upon melodrama was suitable material for a play that questions the 'manifest destiny of the Old West' while mocking the melodramatic excesses of the period.
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Copyright Holder: El Teatro Campesino
Contact: Luis Valdez
Luis Valdez
705 4th Street
P.O. Box 1240
San Juan Bautista, CA 95045
Phone(Business): +1-831-623-2444
Phone(Fax): +1-831-623-4127