Sign in or register
for additional privileges

Latino/a Mobility in California History

Genevieve Carpio, Javier Cienfuegos, Ivonne Gonzalez, Karen Lazcano, Katherine Lee Berry, Joshua Mandell, Christofer Rodelo, Alfonso Toro, Authors

You appear to be using an older verion of Internet Explorer. For the best experience please upgrade your IE version or switch to a another web browser.


Analysis of El Teatro Campesino’s work is not very extensive in the literature. There are a few key scholars who have written on El Teatro Campesino, but not particularly extensively, and not many of them have analyzed La Carpa de los Rasquachis in particular. 

As I mentioned previously, one of the seminal texts on the work of El Teatro Campesino is Yolanda Gonzalez-Broyles’ El Teatro Campesino: Theater in the Chicano Movement; her book is a history of the ensemble that serves as a counter-narrative to some of the previous books on the group by choosing to focus on the ensemble as a collective rather than on the individual contributions of the group’s founding artistic director, Luis Valdez. 

Jorge Huerta’s books Chicano Theater: Themes and Forms and Chicano Drama: Performance, Society, and Myth both include sections on El Teatro Campesino, but their focus is more on the group’s impact on the historical development of Chicano theater as a genre more broadly. Chicano Theater treats La Carpa de los Rasquachis fairly extensively, but much of the focus is on an earlier form of the play with significant differences; said version of the play focuses much more on the relationship between the life of the protagonist and the cosmic scale –the ending even includes the return of a figure who occupies the space of both Christ and Quetzalcoatl (Huerta 1982, 201-6). In fact, Huerta’s analysis centers around that cosmic scale, and it’s featured in a chapter entitled “The Chicano Cosmos.”

In Tomas Ybarra-Frausto’s essay “Rasquachismo: A Chicano Sensibility,” Ybarra-Frausto specifically mentions “The early Actos of El Teatro Campesino” in a list entitled “Rasquachismo: A Random List” (Ybarra-Frausto 7). As an early part of the Chicano movement, El Teatro Campesino is part of the body of work critics like Ybarra-Frausto analyze in defining rasquache as a category. Therefore, El Teatro Campesino’s aesthetic is at the very foundations of rasquachismo.

Comment on this page

Discussion of "Historiography"

Add your voice to this discussion.

Checking your signed in status ...

Previous page on path Rasquachismo, Mobility, El Teatro Campesino, and a Pelado Migration Journey by Javier Cienfuegos, page 1 of 8 Next page on path