Collection Title: El Teatro Campesino collection
Title: The cenci
Date: 1997
Location: Performed in San Juan Bautista, California, in 1997.
El Teatro Campesino, producer ; Anahuac Valdez, producer ; Kinan Valdez, director ; Percy Bysshe Shelley, writer ; Richard Watson Taylor, translation ; Kevin McBride, assistant director, stage manager.
Anahuac Valdez, Adela G. Ruiz, Leslie Breton, Lakin Valdez, Drew Saenz-Hudson, Seth Millwood, Berta Desiderio, Omar Gonzalez, Annabelle Espinosa, Jeremiah Martinez, Marco Perez, Sonora Vasquez, Jessica Wynn, Mauricio Leon.
Run-time (hh:mm:ss): 01:24:12
Language: English
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 ETCs piece The Cenci. After studying the theory of French theater practitioner Antonin Artaud and his conceptualization of Theater of Cruelty (which emphasized the importance of gesture and the physical as its own expressive language and also challenged concepts of reality vs. perception), Kinan Valdez adapted Percy Bysshe Shelleys play The Cenci (1819), which Artaud staged. In this controversial play, inspired by a real Italian family (the Cencis, in particular, Beatrice Cenci), the Cenci family conspires to assassinate the father figure in an attempt to stop his reign of terror, torture, rape and incest. The father unveils the conspiracy, with tragic, fatal consequences. It is a very dark piece that applies the Teatro Campesino aesthetic to Shelleys script, adding a highly physicalized visual score to a text-heavy piece, which also mirrors Artauds physically-based theatrical style. According to director Kinan Valdez, the play was not well-received by the ETC audiences because of its controversial themes.
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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