La Vida De Luis Valdez

Timeline created by elliebee127
  • Birthday Boy

    Birthday Boy
    Luis is born in Delano, California on June 26th, 1940. He was born to Armeda and Francisco Valdez, migrant workers from Mexico.
  • Began Working

    Luis joined his parents in the fields at the age of six. Following this parents and the seasonal work, he attended many schools until the family finally settled down in San Jose, California.
  • Beginnings

    Luis was unable to stay in one school very long, as his family followed the work across California. One day, he forgot his paper lunch bag at school and went back to retrieve it. His teacher had torn it to create paper-mache masks for a play, and the transformation fascinated young Luis. Enthralled, he auditioned for the production but had to move a week before they opened.
  • Brother in Arms

    Daniel Valdez is born to the Valdez family in 1949. Daniel grew up to be involved in Luis' endeavors, as well.
  • Blossoms

    Following his interest in theatre, Luis held puppet shows in his garage throughout grammar school. He recalls them being mostly about fairy tales. Not having had the chance to perform that play before he moved, it left a void he says he's poured himself into in an attempt to fill it ever since, even now.
  • Continuing to Grow

    In high school, he participated in many plays and was part of the Speech and Drama department. He recalls being a 'serious student'. He graduated from San Jose's James Lick High School, and went on to attend San Jose State University on a math and physics scholarship.
  • The Theft

    'The Theft' is a one act play that Luis won a play-writing contest with during college.
  • The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa

    'The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa' is Luis' first full length play, which was produced and debuted at San Jose State University.
    It follows the story of a stereotyped Hispanic family of a drunk father, overworked mother, pregnant daughter, delinquent youngest son, and a militaristic eldest son. Aaand a disembodied head.
  • The San Francisco Mime Troupe

    Luis joined this troupe for a few months after his graduation from SJSU, learning about guerrilla theatre, agitpop theatre, and Italian comedia dell'arte. These influenced his eventual development of the basic Chicano theatre art form, the one-act presentational acto.
  • Teatro Campesino

    Enlisted in Cesar Chavez's mission, Luis and a group of students formed El Teatro Campesino, a troupe that conducted 15-minute acts of theatre to inform the migrant workers so they could organize a union. Using these plays, they informed both workers and public, lifting the workers' spirits simultaneously.
  • Marriage

    He married Guadalupe on August 23rd, 1969.
  • Zoot Suit

    'Zoot Suit' is a play that later was adapted into film. Directed by Luis and with music by his brother, Daniel, 'Zoot Suit' is a historical telling of the Sleepy Lagoon Trial and the Zoot Suit Riots. It is the first Chicano play to be done on Broadway.
  • Best Picture Award

    At the Cartagena Film Festival, Luis was awarded the Best Picture Award for his production, 'Zoot Suit'.
  • La Bamba

    'La Bamba' is one of Luis' more well-known mainstream productions. It details the life of Chicano Rock'n'Roll artist, Ritchie Valens. It was selected for cultural preservation in the National Film Registry in 2017, having been deemed culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.
  • Peabody Award

    In 1987, he won the George Peabody Award for Exellence in Television for his PBS production, 'Corridos: Tales of Passion and Revolution.'
  • National Hispanic Leadership

    The under-representation of Latinas in the corporate, nonprofit, and political arena is addressed by the National Hispanic Leadership Institute.
  • Latinos Writers Group

    With the help of officials from the Hispanic Academy of the Arts and Sciences and Nosotros, Luis started the Latinos Writers Group. This was to improve the treatment, opportunities, and pay of Latino Hollywood writers.
  • National Medal of Arts

    In 2015, Luis was awarded the National Medal of Arts. It is the highest honor given to artists by the US government.
  • Valley of The Heart

    Luis' latest play, Valley of the Heart, debuted October 30th, 2018 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. It regales a story between a Mexican family and a Japanese family who's American-born children have fallen in love and now face trials when the attack on Pearl Harbor separates them.
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    Bracero Program

    This program is made known as the Mexican Farm Labor Supply Program and the Mexican Labor Agreement, bringing in migrant Mexican workers
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    Operation Wetback

    A despicable, derogatorily named 4-year initiative to deport as many undocumented workers back to Mexico, ending in the deportation of 3.8 million migrant workers.
    The term 'Wetback' is used as an insulting and contemptuous term for a Mexican who enters the U.S. illegally. It is racist and cruel.