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Luis Valdez Writing Styles in Zoot Suit

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Zoot Suit is a combination of actos (or ' 'protest skits"), mitos ("myth"), and corrido ("ballad"); the combination draws upon traditional Mexican songs and dances, traditional stories, and the political activism of Valdez's previous work with the socially active El Teatro Campesino. The play also has a strong documentary element with its basis in historical events. The result is musical docudrama of epic proportions.

In the beginning of his career, Valdez wrote, or rather orchestrated, since he did not always commit the actos to paper, simple and brief political protest pieces aimed at audiences of migrant workers. Most lasted only fifteen minutes. These actos used masks, simple but exaggerated storylines, and minimal settings and props. Often the actors sported cards proclaiming their generic roles—"worker," or "patroncito" [manager]—rather than adopting an actual character. Characterization is not important in social protest plays, since the purpose is to condemn acts committed...

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This section contains 862 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Zoot Suit Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Zoot Suit from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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