San Francisco’s Own Rosa Parks

In honor of Martin Luther King Day, CSA Steering Committee member Elaine Elinson writes about Charlotte Brown, a young African American woman who challenged the color bar on San Francisco streetcars while the Civil War was still raging and news of the Emancipation Proclamation had not yet reached most slaves.

When young Charlotte Brown refused a San Francisco streetcar conductor’s demand to disembark because “colored persons were not allowed to ride,” she faced a social climate almost as hostile as Rosa Parks did in Montgomery, Ala., in 1954.

But Brown’s challenge came almost a century earlier – on April 17, 1863.

Click here to read the entire piece as featured on Sf Gate.

El Teatro Campesino Presents “La Carpe de los Rasquachis”; San Juan Bautista (July 31 to Sept. 21)

El Teatro Campesino revives ‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’

El Teatro Campesino presents the world renowned ‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis,’ written by
Luis Valdez.
‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’ will open July 31 and run for eight weeks at the company’s
playhouse in San Juan Bautista.

Luis Valdez’ ‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’ is essentially an immigrant’s story—the epic tale
of the Chicano farm worker in the United States.

‘La Carpa’ unfolds with the struggles, frustrations and ultimate victory of Jesus Pelado
Rasquachi in a rich saga is brought to life with Mexican ballads known as corridos. Corridos
are earthy narratives often sung to celebrate life’s triumphs and tribulations—usually with
ironic humor and a rollicking Tex-Mex beat.

This production of El Teatro Campesino’s seminal classic is directed by Kinan Valdez and
features ETC veteran performer, Noe Montoya.

‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’ features Alejandro Nuño as Jesus Pelado Rasquachi. The
audience travels with Pelado on his journey after he decides to leave his mother in Mexico
with hopes of “getting rich” as a bracero in the United States.

Misfortune and fate stalks Pelado in the guise of El Diablo–the Devil, portrayed by Adrian
Torres and La Calavera–Death, portrayed by Christy Sandoval. Continually tricked and
betrayed, Pelado becomes a pathetic and comical figurine in the hands of manipulative
growers, contractors, social workers and finally, the undertaker.

‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’ invokes the Carpa or tent shows—popular in the 1930s-40s—
which would travel and perform in the areas around the U.S.–Mexico borderlands. Drawing on
this tradition, El Teatro Campesino has brought ‘La Carpa’ back to many of these border
towns with a mission to entertain, inspire and organize audiences to social action. It is a
mission that the new generation of El Teatro Campesino hopes to continue.

‘La Carpa de los Rasquachis’ opens July 31 and runs through Sept. 21. Opening night
admission is free. Shows times are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday
matinees at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors and $8 for
children 12 and under. All seats on Thursday nights are only $5. Group rates are available.

El Teatro Campesino playhouse is at 705 4th St. in San Juan Bautista. The box office hours
are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Buy Tickets