A dear friend and colleague of ours, Alma Martinez, M.F.A., Ph.D. and Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance (Pomona College), is currently performing in the Luis Valdez production of Zoot Suit running in Mexico City now until July 4. She asked if we could share this news with you:
Well, we did it! Zoot Suit opened in Mexico City on April 29, 2010 and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Luis Valdez directs the National Theatre Company of Mexico (CNT) in what is the first Chicano play ever performed by this government-funded company. The Mexican press and electronic media are out in full force and the word “Chicano” is being spoken in the most positive light imaginable.
Given the importance of this transnational project, I was able to get American Theatre Magazine to fly in a reporter to cover the opening and Mexican reporters for the LA Times, Associated Press and La Opinion are also covering the run. I brought the play to the CNT and serve as US-Mexico Project Coordinator and also perform. (I performed in the original play and film.)
Along with the production, I am also organizing a Chicano Theatre symposium from June 24-26 with the National Mexican University (UNAM), the Center for North American Studies UNAM, Pomona College and UC Santa Barbara. Luis Valdez will deliver the keynote address on the final day of the symposium titled:
!Esos pachucos, esos chicanos, esos pochos!
El teatro de Luis Valdez y su lucha por una mexicanidad americana
Thanks to my Pomona College students, on April 29th we also launched the “Zoot Suit Guia de Descubrimiento”, the bilingual educational guide geared toward Mexican students and teachers. The link will be printed in the program for the run of the play and the one-year Mexican tour slated for 2011.
We’d love to share all of this experience with you and would be honored if you could join us. The play runs until July 4. Go to www.teatro.unam.mx, “Cartelera” for more information. Please contact me if you have any questions or if I can be of assistance in facilitating your visit.
Alma Martinez, Coyoacan, Mexico
011.52.1.55.4002.2185 – Mexico Direct (when dialed outside of Mexico)
** Photo credit Sergio Carrion Ireta