Luis Valdez

Luis Valdez ( born June 26, 1940 in Delano, California) is an American playwright, writer, producer and film director. Due to its Mexican descent his literary works of Chicano literature are attributed.


Luis Valdez is derived from Mexican migrant workers who earned their harvest workers. He graduated at the James Lick High School in San Jose and studied through a scholarship for mathematics and physics at the private San Jose State University. Later he made in 1964 with a degree in English. After his studies he joined temporarily the Mime Troupe San Francisco and returned it back to Delano. To support the strike of the United Farm Workers, Valdez founded the theater group El Teatro Campesino. For two years, leads the Teatro at the edge of the fields his agitation pieces in order to encourage the strikers and to win doubters. All models were themselves migrant workers. Valdez acted as writer and director of the pieces.

Luis Valdez is a founding member of the California State University, Monterey Bay, which is part of the California State University system.

Filmography (selection)

Honors and Awards (selection)

  • Golden Globe Award, nominated for Zoot Suit and La Bamba
  • 1982 Cartagena Film Festival for Best Film
  • 1987 George Peabody Award
  • 1990 California Governor's Award
  • 1994 Order of the Aztec Eagle ( Aguila Azteca ), the highest award in the foreign award in Mexico

Writings and Interviews

  • Luis Valdez Zoot Suit and Other Plays, Players Press ( 1992) ISBN 1-5588-5048-1
  • Interview with Luis Valdez about El Teatro Campesino: Theater today 9/1972

Secondary literature

  • Dieter Herms: The contemporary literature of Chicanos ( 1959-1988 ). Frankfurt am Main: Vervuert 1990
  • H. Rischbieter: Match forms of political theater. About the Teatro Campesino in California and the Bread and Puppet Theater in New York. In: Theater today, 9 born in 1968, Issue 4