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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Chicano Theater
Program #

Richard Goodman
Richard Goodman
Mar 9, 1977

Chicano Theater

Host Richard Goodman discusses Chicano Theatre and the ways it has influenced and reflected Mexican American Society. Goodman first discusses the life and work of Luis Valdez, the founder of Teatro Campesino, Farm Workers’ Theatre, in 1965. Valdez’ early sketches, or Actos, primarily focused on the daily life of the strikers and incorporated a variety of styles and techniques, including those from the dramas of Europe, Japan, Ancient Greece and indigenous America. According to Dr. Carlota Cardenas de Dwyer, Valdes adapted all of the techniques to his interests and aims, and in so doing reflected one of the hallmarks of the Chicano artist, who chooses which ancestral legacies to work with and adapt. Later in his career, Valdez’ work began to cover a variety of themes affecting Chicanos, including the Vietnam War and discrimination, and featured increasingly complex characters. Across the country, satellite groups performed his actos and other forms of popular theatre. Almost simultaneously, other Chicano playwrights, including Estella Portillo, were producing more sophisticated literary dramas reproduced in Chicano periodicals like El Grito. Goodman explains that while popular theatre originated in the activism of its creators, Chicano literary dramas are performed as art alone, and not as activism.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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