Our Mission

It is our mission to create a popular art with a 21st century tools that presents a more just and accurate account of human history, while encouraging the young women and men of a new generation to take control of their own destiny through creative discipline, vibrant education, economic independence, and artistic excellence.

Our Vision

Since its inception, El Teatro Campesino and its founder and artistic director, Luis Valdez, have set the standard for Latino theatrical production in the United States. Founded in 1965 on the Delano Grape Strike picket lines of Cesar Chavez’s United Farmworkers Union, the company created and performed “actos” or short skits on flatbed trucks and in union halls.

Board Members

Meet the people behind the scenes of El Teatro Campesino

Luis Valdez

Founding Artistic Director/ Playwright

LUIS VALDEZ is regarded as one of the most important and influential American playwrights living today.  His internationally renowned, and Obie award winning theater company, El Teatro Campesino (The Farm Workers’ Theater) was founded by Luis in 1965 – in the heat of the United Farm Workers (UFW) struggle and the Great Delano Grape Strike in California’s Central Valley. Luis has never strayed far from his own farm worker roots.  His company, El Teatro Campesino is located 60 miles south of San Jose in the rural community of San Juan Bautista, CA. (read more)

Kinan Valdez

Producing Artistic Director

KINAN VALDEZ  is a 20-year ensemble member of El Teatro Campesino (ETC). Born and reared in the collective milieu of the famed social justice theater company, Kinan currently serves as ETC’s Producing Artistic Director. His accomplishments as a leader of the 49 year-old company have been a three-fronted effort: Preserving ETC’s expansive theatrical traditions and methodologies for new generations; developing the “Teatro Lab” – an experimental new works laboratory; and building an extensive educational theater program that reaches the underserved and marginalized communities of rural central California.

Louisa Casarez

Business Manager/ Secretary Board

Louisa Casarez began working for El Teatro Campesino in 1979 as Administrative Assistant for the company.  She served as Comptroller for 14 years before becoming the company’s Business Manager in 1994.   In 1999, she began working with Luis Valdez as his Executive Assistant.  Currently, she is serving as a Board Member for the San Benito County Arts Council.

Phillip Esparza

Board Member

Marilyn Abad-Cardinalli

Board Member

Richard F Vasquez

Board Member

Joe Cardinalli

Board Member

Anahuac Valdez

Board Member

Joe Aubel

Board Member

Lupe Valdez

Board Member

Jose Delgado

Board Member