SF City Theatre Co. and Teatro Latino De San Francisco Present The World Premiere Of JOAQUIN MURRIETA: MY QUEST FOR JUSTICE
SF City Theatre Company and Teatro Latino de San Francisco will present its first World Premiere, Silvia Gonzalez's Joaquin Murrieta: My Quest for Justice, October 5-12 at the Clarion Music Performing Arts Center in San Francisco's Chinatown at 2 Waverly Place (at Sacramento Street.) SFCTC Artistic Director, David Acevedo, directs.
Gonzalez' play presents "the true story of the life of Joaquin Murrieta" from the Latino perspective.
And who was Joaquin Murrieta?
Joaquin Murrieta was a famous vaquero (cowboy) and gold miner during in California during the Gold Rush of the 1850s. Little of his actual life can be proven, but the legend that he inspired is enormous, mostly fueled by 19th Century dime novels that romanticized his exploits. He is thought to have been born in Sonora, Mexico in 1829 and to have died in 1853...or 1860...or...
The popular legend of Joaquin Murrieta is that of a peace-loving man driven to seek revenge when he and his brother were falsely accused of stealing a mule. His brother was hanged and Joaquin horsewhipped. His young wife was gang raped, and in one version she died in Joaquin's arms. Swearing revenge, Joaquin hunted down all who had violated his sweetheart. He then embarked on a short but violent career that brought death to his Anglo tormentors. The state of California later offered a reward of up to $5000 for Joaquin "dead or alive."
Controversy surrounds the figure of Joaquin Murrieta: who he was, what he did, and many of his life's events. The consensus seems to be that Anglos did drive him from his mining claim, and the rape, lynching, and horse-whipping did happen. He may or may not have tracked down and killed his Anglo attackers. He later became a horse trader and horse thief, as well as a notorious leader of a gang of bandits. California Rangers, spurred by the $5000 reward, caught up with the gang and supposedly killed Murrieta, along with his accomplice, Three-Fingered Jack. To prove to the Governor that they had slain Murrieta and Jack, they returned to Sacramento with Murrieta's head and Jack's three-fingered hand, each preserved in a jar of alcohol. The Rangers took the display throughout California, and spectators could pay $1 to see the relics.