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Los Vendidos


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A: Luis Valdez (with El Teatro Campesino) Pf: 1967, Los Angeles Pb: 1967 G: Pol. drama in 1 act; English with some Spanish S: Honest Sancho's shop, 1960s C: 5m, 1f Miss Jiménez, a secretary in Governor Reagan's office, comes to Honest Sancho's Used Mexican lot in search of a token Mexican for the State Administration. She is first shown a Farm Worker, very hard-working, economical to run (one plate of beans and tortillas per day), and easy to store in one of Reagan's labour camps. Since the only English he knows is ‘Strike!’, Jiménez asks to see another model. Sancho proudly displays Johnny Pacucho, a stylish easygoing criminal, self-maintaining on drugs and petty theft, but, although she is allowed to kick him viciously, Jiménez reckons there are enough thieves in the Administration already. She is then shown the glamorous Mexican hero, star of many Hollywood romances, the Revolucionario. However, she is most impressed by the Mexican-American, an educated clean-cut man in a suit. Having bought him for an exorbitant sum, she is alarmed to hear him shout revolutionary slogans in Spanish. The other models all advance on Jiménez, who runs off in terror. The models reveal themselves as actors who divide up the spoils, then put away Sancho, who is the ‘best model we got!’

A: Luis Valdez (with El Teatro Campesino) Pf: 1967, Los Angeles Pb: 1967 G: Pol. drama in 1 act; English with some Spanish S: Honest Sancho's shop, 1960s C: 5m, 1f

In 1965, in response to a farm workers' strike, Valdez formed El Teatro Campesino (‘The Farm workers' Theatre’), which gave a voice to the exploited Chicano workers of California. Los Vendidos, one of the short agitprop ‘actos’ for which the Teatro Campesino became famous, means ‘those who are sold’ but also ‘the sell-outs’, represented especially by Miss Jiménez, a Mexican-American collaborating with Reaganite oppression.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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