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Teatro Chicana


Teatro Chicana
A Collective Memoir and Selected Plays

By Laura E. Garcia, Sandra M. Gutierrez, and Felicitas Nuñez
Foreword by Yolanda Broyles-Gonzalez

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Introduction

"This collection of testimonials of early Xicanistas and their work in teatro is an important contribution to the preservation of the spirit and energy that made the Chicano Movement."
Ana Castillo, author of The Guardians and So Far from God

"These memoirs are the personal, honest, and riveting testimonials of seventeen Chicanas who performed Chicana theater during the 1970s. These carnalas empowered themselves and thousands during the tumultuous years of the Movimiento by performing plays for working-class communities. From college campuses to the fields where campesinos toiled, estas mujeres had the courage to fight gender inequality. We need their courage today. And we need their stories for a new generation of Chicanas and for working women everywhere."
Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima and Curse of the ChupaCabra

"'Órale, ya era tiempo.' Stories of 'the Movement' too often emphasize men's roles, ignoring the vital participation of women or relegating them to the sidelines. In Teatro Chicana, women are central to the ideas, emotions, strategies, writing, art, and music of the 1960s and 1970s when this country—and much of the world—rocked with revolutionary imagination and fervor. The Chicano Movement, like most social movements, also had many women warrior/leaders—this struggle was shaped and ignited by women, fed and nurtured by women, with many men at their sides. I was part of this—I knew first hand how feminine spirit, energy, and love embraced and impelled us. Seeing it again through the voices of the elder-teachers in this book, I'm reminded—no movement is complete without la mujer."
Luis J. Rodriguez, author of Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. and Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times

The 1970s and 1980s saw the awakening of social awareness and political activism in Mexican-American communities. In San Diego, a group of Chicana women participated in a political theatre group whose plays addressed social, gender, and political issues of the working class and the Chicano Movement. In this collective memoir, seventeen women who were a part of Teatro de las Chicanas (later known as Teatro Laboral and Teatro Raíces) come together to share why they joined the theatre and how it transformed their lives. Teatro Chicana tells the story of this troupe through chapters featuring the history and present-day story of each of the main actors and writers, as well as excerpts from the group's materials and seven of their original short scripts.

Edited by:

Laura E. Garcia is the editor of the Tribuno del Pueblo newspaper, a bilingual publication that gives voice to the poor and to those fighting unjust laws, such as those that make the undocumented immigrant an animal of prey. She lives in Chicago.

Sandra M. Gutierrez is a lifelong community activist who has advocated for immigrant rights, unionization, youth counseling, and cultural diversity. She lives in Pasadena, California.

Felicitas Nuñez was a co-founder of the Teatro de las Chicanas and continues to be a driving force behind the organization. She lives in Bermuda Dunes, California.