When Kinan Valdez, the producing artistic director of El Teatro Campesino (ETC), began planning El Teatro's 2010 season, he was inspired to use the working-title "Raices/Roots" because many of the pieces this season are classic works-or inspired from the classic works-created in the beginnings of San Juan Bautista's world-renown, all original, theater company. At the same time, Valdez is also creating new works to add to the company's artistic arsenal. The newest work created by Valdez is ‘Corridos!!! Tales of the Mexican Revolution,' which begins June 18 at El Teatro Campesino's playhouse in San Juan Bautista.

El Teatro Campesino was founded in 1965 by Valdez' father, the American playwright, film-maker and director Luis Valdez, El Teatro Campesino was started on the Delano grape strike picket lines with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers.

From its beginnings in union meeting halls and on the backs of flatbed trucks in the fields, to its eventual move to a permanent space in San Juan Bautista in 1971, the theater company has always been a vehicle for social commentary and political awareness.

During the summer of 2010, El Teatro Campesino will create and present, "Corridos!!! Tales of the Mexican Revolution." "Corridos!!!" is a theatrical celebration of the women, men and spirit of the Mexican revolution in the tradition of Mexican folksongs from 1910-1920.

‘Corridos!!!' are often considered to be ‘mini-operas,' they are musical, humorous and dramatic story-telling vignettes based on a centuries-old popular Mexican folk ballad traditions.

ETC's founder, Luis Valdez, describes the art of the corrido as, "passionate tales of unrequited love, betrayal and bloody violence, converted through lyrical folk ballads into profiles of humanity in turmoil. Corridos were a popular form of civic journalism which told of actual events and personalities before the days of radio and television."

This presentation of ‘Corridos!!! Tales of the Mexican Revolution' is a further exploration of ETC's unique form of musical-theater. This workshop production is another all-original epic theatrical work being created in the Teatro-lab format at the company's playhouse in San Juan Bautista. El Teatro Campesino has been creating all-original theater in San Benito County since 1971.

For more information about ‘Corridos!!! Tales of the Mexican Revolution' and El Teatro Campesino please visit www.elteatrocampesino.com or phone 831.623.2444. Shows run June 24-August 1. Ticket prices vary from $5-$15 (check Web site). El Teatro Campesino Playhouse is located at 705 Fourth St., San Juan Bautista.


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From This Author Marivic Tagala

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