Chela and Actos Take Center Stage at CSUSM


Media Contact: Margaret Lutz |

The California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) Visual and Performing Arts Department announces its fall performance schedule and welcomes two powerful plays, Chela and Actos, to the university stage. Highlighting Latino and Chicano culture and performance art, this year's fall season at CSUSM intertwines humor, satire, and poignant drama to address serious community-wide issues from domestic abuse and child neglect to immigration status and the struggles of farmworkers.

"Given the mounting anti-immigrant propaganda now being felt by many of Hispanic descent, this is a great time to bring theatre of consciousness to the public," said Marcos Martinez, professor of Visual & Performing Arts at CSUSM. "As the premier educational institution in North County, Cal State San Marcos is taking the lead in offering theatre that speaks to issues affecting our community and our region."

Among the featured performers for the fall season is emerging playwright and CSUSM alumna Dulce Maria Solis in her highly acclaimed play, Chela, which makes its campus-debut during the university's second annual Homecoming Week.

Chela by Dulce Maria Solis
Chela, written and performed award-winning actress and comedian Dulce Maria Solis, is an intimate theatrical biography chronicling the life of a young Mexican immigrant tricked into a loveless marriage, who struggles to reclaim her sexuality.

Based on the true story of Solis' mother, this ninety minute play recounts the seemingly illogical and unreasonable ways in which Chela reacts and copes with child neglect, sexual assault, domestic violence at the hands of her mother and husband, an almost absent father, eight miscarriages, immigrant status, and prohibited love. At times, the manner in which Chela handles events in her life are funny, other times it is disheartening, but most of the time her actions are poignant illustrations of an unexamined life. Performed in English with some bilingualism, this powerful one-woman show, which is intended for mature audiences, will inspire audiences at CSUSM on Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22, 2010. Both shows begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be performed in Arts 111. Tickets are $10 for general admission, or $7 for students with ID.

Actos by Luis Valdez
Internationally-renowned Luis Valdez's Actos is a collection of satirical performances that deal with the abuse that Mexican-Americans have suffered as farmworkers and the psychological trauma resulting from a legacy of colonization and the resulting struggles with identity.

Playwright, director, and social rights activist Luis Valdez, born in 1940, is the founder of the El Teatro Campesino in California and is revered to be the father of Chicano theater in the United States. In 1965, he joined César Chávez in his effort to educate and organize farmworkers into a viable union, where Valdez wrote and performed brief satirical sketches relevant to the civil rights struggles of migrants. Later termed as actos, these 10 to 15 minute sketches deliver powerful social or political messages and frequently infuse humor to attack the opposition. In 1971, Valdez published his book Actos, a collection of the best sketches written and acted by his troupe.

On stage at CSUSM November 11-13 and 17-19, Actos, which will be performed in English with some bilingualism, features three of Valdez's plays: Las dos Caras del Patroncito, The Militants, and Los Vendidos. Tickets are $10 for general admission, or $5 for students with ID.

Performance Art Schedule
Chela by Dulce Maria Solis
7:00 p.m. in Arts 111
Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22
$10 general admission, $7 students with ID
Actos: Las dos Caras del Patroncito, The Militants and Los Vendidos by Luis Valdez
7:00 p.m. in Arts 111
November 11, 12, 13 (Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
November 17, 18, 19 (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday)
$10 general admission, $5 students with ID

Student Festivals at CSUSM
Written and performed by CSUSM students, the monologue and new play festivals feature compelling, riotous, and side-splitting works.
Monologue Festival
Thursday, December 2, 7:00 p.m. in Arts 101

New Play Festival
Friday, December 3, 7:00 p.m. in Arts 101
Saturday, December 4, 1:00 p.m. in Arts 101
Sunday, December 5, 3:00 p.m. in Arts 101

For more information about upcoming Visual and Performing Arts events at CSUSM or for advanced reservations, call (760) 750-4137 or visit

Directions and Parking
CSUSM is located at 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos. For more information or directions to the campus, visit Parking is available in campus lots with fees ranging from $3 to $9 depending upon length of stay.

About California State University San Marcos
California State University San Marcos combines the ambiance of a mid-sized, personal, modern campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Since its founding in 1989, the campus has distinguished itself. Students benefit from the latest facilities and equipment, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life in and out of the workplace. A recent survey reported that our annual spending in the region was $161 million, generating a total impact of $307 million on the regional economy. 85 percent of CSUSM's alumni stay in the region. CSU San Marcos is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos. It is 15 miles east of the ocean; just 30 miles north of downtown San Diego.