Collection Title: El Teatro Campesino collection
Title: Bernabé
Date: 2000 July 30
Location: Performed in San Juan Bautista, California, on July 30, 2000.
Work Type: Performance., Theater., Chicano theater.
El Teatro Campesino, producer ; Kinan Valdez, director ; Luis Valdez, writer.
Anahuac Valdez, Jeremiah Martinez, Katrina Valdez, Gus Manrique, Grace Serna, Johnny Martinez, Cesar Flores.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 01:04:51
Language: In English and 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. This video documents ETC's play 'Bernabé.' Written in 1970 and revived in 2000, the action of the piece takes place in the small fictional town of Burlap, located in the central San Joaquin Valley of California. With a population of only a couple of thousand inhabitants, Burlap is the hometown of Bernabé, a mentally retarded farm worker who is 'touched by cosmic madness.' The performance takes us from the sun-baked reality of the valley into the mythological darkness of Bernabe's mind. The abstract set reflects the world of its protagonist, blending myth and reality, above and below the surface of the earth. Burlap, California is also the setting for another Luis Valdez' play, 'Mundo Mata,' a period piece that exposes the raw realities of life in a small farmworker town.
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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