By Andrea Jimenez |Staff Writer|
The theater was filled with supporters, who were ready to experience this amazing interpretation of Luis Valdez’ famous plays.
“La Quinta Temporada” and “Los Vendidos” were brought to life in the San Manuel Student Union theater on Feb.12 by CSUSB’s “Grupo De Estudiantes Acto Latino Universitario.”
The purpose is not only to inform minorities about the “National Farm Workers Association” brought about by activist Cesar Chavez, but to encourage them to fulfill the dream that he fought for, with hard labor.
I arrived a few minutes late, as I was ushered to my seat the chant, “la raza unida jamas sera vencida,” quickly arose in the audience, bringing forward an empowering atmosphere.
Everyone seemed to connect with the characters and the stories of struggle for under payed laborers, who work day by day in hopes to make ends meet.
The costumes were very detailed and fit every character perfectly.
“I did not expect a Mexican Elsa to pop up,” said student Wendy Zavalza, after seeing Mayra Godinez Davila dance her way on to stage in a long, blue dress and white braided wig, portraying winter.
The mustache’s, boots and sombrero’s are only a few of the many creative props that gave the play that extra Mexican ambiance.
“I wish I would’ve worn a mustache and brought my dancing boots!” Exclaimed Daniel Cuevas, who was sitting next to me.
I am sure that just like Daniel, more than a few had to fight the urge to get up on stage and dance along with the cast, as they formed a conga line and wobbled their way into the next scene accompanied by what should be the Mexican anthem, “La Bamba.”
The second play, “Los Vendidos,” although extremely humorous, connected me to my Mexican roots the most.
Student, Jasmine Velazquez agreed with me. “I literally felt like ‘Pancha la Honesta’ could be one of my aunts from Mexico,” Velazquez said jokingly.
“Pancha La Honesta,” a brutally honest sales associate who sold cheap Mexican laborers to prestigious Americans, was played by Itzel Viramontes. This character’s charisma was my favorite. Viramontes engaged and brought this character to life in a magnificent way.
Throughout the plays, it was evident that this cast worked together not only to form a connection with the audience, but to make sure that the bond between them was also as strong.
At the end of the show Edgar Salazar; who played the role of “El narco” in “Los Vendidos,” apologized for stuttering while reciting his lines.
“It was hard to keep myself together, since the stories I told during my monologue, were personal anecdotes,” said Salazar.
This brought emotion to the audience, a few stood up to speak and congratulated the cast on the wonderful job.
I had the privilege to interview CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales, who was sitting among the audience.
“Both plays were great, their performances came from their heart, their stories were real, I was blown away, I just thought they were exceptional,” said President Morales, proudly.
“Follow your dreams, don’t forget where you came from, we have to be proud and give back to our community,” continued Morales.
I would definitely recommend these plays to anyone who wants to gain inspiration and motivation with a little laugh.