Mummified Deer (2002)

Mummified Deer (2002) HIDVL

This video documents El Teatro Campesino's performance Mummified Deer. The play was inspired by a 1984 newspaper article describing an 86-year-old woman in Juarez, Mexico, who was found to be carrying a 60-year-old mummified fetus in her womb. Fifteen years later, playwright, director and founder of ETC Luis Valdez returned to the article while simultaneously embarking on a highly personal investigation of his own family history. Valdez traveled to Sonora, Mexico to investigate his family's Yaqui roots and ancestral history; Mummified Deer derived from his time in Mexico and the newspaper article, in what Valdez considers to be his most personal play to date. Armida, Valdez's mother, is re-envisioned as a young woman by the same name; his grandmothers, aunts and cousins fused into the other leading characters. The main action of the play takes place in 1999 by the side of Mama Chu's hospital bed, but also flashes back to 1969 when the Chicano Movement was just starting, back through the thirties and twenties, to the turn of the 20th Century and the Mexican Revolution when Mama Chu crosses the border into the United States. The genocidal war against the Yaquis in Mexico, forcing Mama Chu to migrate to the US, is only one of the family's buried secrets. In spite of the fluidity of time zones, what anchors all the action is the constant presence of a young Yaqui deer dancer who dances but does not speak, symbolizing the 60-year-old mummified fetus. The play incorporates themes of family conflict within the broader context of history and social struggle. Staged two years after the original production at the San Diego Repertory Theater, this version of Mummified Deer contains several changes and refinements to the script.


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Additional Info

  • Title: Mummified Deer
  • Holdings: video (HIDVL)
  • Duration: 02:04:58
  • Date: Apr 2002
  • Location: El Teatro Campesino Playhouse, San Juan Bautista, California.
  • Type-Format: play, performance
  • Cast: Alma Martinez, Lakin Valdez, Estrella Esparza, Daniel Valdez, Rosa Escalante, Anita Reyes, Kinan Valdez, Luis Juarez, Durand Garcia, Sandra Longoria, Anne Bernstein.
  • Credits: El Teatro Campesino, producer; Anahuac Valdez, producer; Luis Valdez, director, writer; Lakin Valdez, assistant director; Kinan Valdez, Joe Cardinalli, production design; Paul Skelton, lighting design; Gabriela Fernandez, costume design; Emiliano Valdez, sound design; Sarah Guerra, stage manager, light board operator; Lupe Trujillo Valdez, casting director; Fernando Vélez, sound operator; Dorothy Martinez, costumer; Mauricio Rivera, production assistant; Claudia De La Rosa, assistant stage manager, assistant director; Pete Roybal, house manager, construction crew chief; Rubén C. González, Sarah Guerra, Jennifer Roybal, Anahuac Valdez, Kinan Valdez, Lakin Valdez, Fernando Velez, Susan Woods, construction crew; Anahuac Valdez, program design.

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