Born in 1965 as an organizing tool within César Chávez's United Farm Workers union, El Teatro Campesino became the premier Chicana/o performance ensemble to emerge out of the Chicano movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This study demythologizes and reinterprets the company's history from its origins in California's farm labor struggles to its successes in Europe and on Broadway until the disbanding of the original collective ensemble in 1980 with the subsequent adoption of mainstream production techniques.
Yolanda Broyles-González corrects many misconceptions concerning the Teatro's creation and evolution. She draws from a rich storehouse of previously untapped material, such as interviews with numerous ensemble members, production notes, and unpublished diaries, to highlight the reality of the collective creation that characterized the Teatro's work.
Writing within contemporary cultural studies theory, Broyles-González sheds light on class, gender, race, and cultural issues. Her work situates the Teatro within working-class Mexican performance history, the Chicano movement, gender relations, and recent attempts to mainstream.
This welcome addition in critical theory about the Chicana/o theater movement is recommended for those researchers interested in theater practice and performance, women's studies, and cultural studies.
1. El Teatro Campesino and the Mexican Popular Performance Tradition
Oral Tradition: Human Memory, the Body, Community
The Political Economy of Chicana/o Comedy
Rasquachi Performance Aesthetic and Historical Memory
El Teatro Campesino and Mexican Sacroprofane Performance Genres
2. Theater of the Sphere: Toward the Formulation of a Native Performance Theory and Practice
On Formulating an Indigenous Alternative Performance Aesthetic
Theater of the Sphere: Affirming the Chicana/o Axis
The Formation of the Spherical Actor: A New Chicana/o Humanism
Theater of the Sphere: The Twenty Steps
Theater of the Sphere: The World of Performance
Theater of the Sphere: Liberation or Mystification?
3. Toward a Re-Vision of Chicana/o Theater History: The Roles of Women in El Teatro Campesino
The Roles of Women in El Teatro Campesino
Breaking the Mold: Creating New Pathways
An Epilogue: Chicanas Onstage in the 1980s
4. El Teatro Campesino: From Alternative Theater to Mainstream
El Teatro Campesino in the Mainstream
Rose of the Rancho: Validating Chicana/o Oppression
The New Professionalism: Zoot Suit in the Mainstream
Chicanas/os on Broadway: To Be or Not to Be?
Zoot Suit: The Film
Mainstreaming and the Dissolution of the Teatro Campesino Ensemble
Conclusion: Whither El Teatro Campesino?