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BIOGRAPHY Luis Valdez one of ten children was born in 1940 in Delano California to campesinos or farm workers When he was six years old he watched a teacher use part of a paper bag to make papier-m masks for a theater production This experience transformed his worldview and eventually led him to the theater His experiences in the fields however lasted until he was eighteen Going to work in the fields at the age of six he knew the value of hard work and determination It was not easy for Valdez to become a writer He would do work in the fields all day and during any break or at night he would study novels He began college at San Jose State College as a math and physics major after less than a year he joined the theater and declared a major in English He wrote and acted in plays at San Jose State where his first full-length play The Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa 1964 was produced After college he joined the famous San Francisco Mime Troupe In 1965 still a member of Cesar Chavezs United Farm Workers Union he founded El Teatro Campesino or the Farm Workers Theater for which he became artistic director and playwright The theater which has won a number of awards and is now part of the Mexican American Centro Campesino Cultural in Fresno began as a theater for striking farm workers and their union earning money writing for the union and spreading news about its activities Valdezs early link to farming was his influence for writing He mainly wrote plays about the poor treatment of the farm workers that he once shed sweat with He did not agree with the American government using their services at its disposal Politicians who use false representatives of minorities to mask their indifference to groups denied their place in the spotlight influenced most of all Valdez He wrote several plays in
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