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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 #

Linda Fregoso
Jorge Huerta
Mar 26, 1982

Chicano Theater

Dr. Jorge Huerta, a professor of drama, discusses the development of Chicano theatre. Host Linda Fregoso first describes the history of Latino theatre, from the post-Conquest religious plays, to the vaudeville era, and then the Chicano Theatre of the 1960s. Huerta then explains the early theatrical work of Luis Valdez and his actos, which clearly delineated the good characters (often farm workers) from the bad (the growers). He explains that while other minority groups had theatre traditions, Chicanos theatre was unique because of its language and because of it lack of repertoire. Many of the productions were based on improvisation.

Chicano Theatre often dealt with the subject of self-identity and Huerta discusses the differences between the term Mexicans, Mexican-American and Chicano. He then talks about the Chicano Movement’s interest in its indigenous roots and its impact on Chicano theatre. Valdez was particularly invested in using his plays to educate Chicanos about their spiritual roots and Huerta talks about the spiritual implications of his play “La Carpa de los Rasquachis” which blended Mayan and Christian cosmographies.

Huerta then talks about the development of Chicano theatres. He explains that there are different types, such as Chicano community theatre and Chicano theatre companies, and talks the particularities of each. He notes that to be successful, Chicano theatres must reach out to a broad audience.


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

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