Teatro

Political Theatre Chicano Style

Teatro aims to expose and examine social and political perspectives within the Chicano and Latino community. Also called political theatre, these types of productions do more than entertain, they seek to inspire audiences to reflect and take action against social inequalities. Distinctive characteristics of teatro used to express the reality of Chicano and Latino life include:

Production of La Carpa de Los Rasquachi, 1978, El Teatro Campesino. (Courtesy of Alma Martínez)

Production of La Carpa de Los Rasquachi, 1978, El Teatro Campesino. (Courtesy of Alma Martínez)

  • ‘Actos’ or short plays that capture themes in brief comedic sketches.
  • ‘Mitos’ or myths based on Aztec and Mayan history and legends.
  • Humor to satirize oppositional views and empower protagonists.
  • Both Spanish and English to reach audiences in the Latino community and depict the duality of the Latino experience in the United States.
  • Music, especially the use of corridos to help tell stories
  • Dance to further illustrate the story and incorporate cultural elements of the Latino community.

Zoot Suit is written and performed in the style of teatro. Through the integration of social and political themes Zoot Suit examines controversial topics that affect the Mexican American community in Los Angeles. This exploration is intended to create social, political and economic consciousness, as well as to provide a perspective absent from mainstream historical texts and media. With this point of view audiences are motivated to reflect and act against future injustices.