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I Don't Have to Show You No Stinking Badges

In his play I Don't Have to Show You No Stinking Badges, Luis Valdez makes use of certain stereotypical images in order to delve into questions of the relationship between the actor and the role he or she plays and between those roles and the reality of similar roles in society. He does this in a comic format which turns certain American entertainment conventions upside down for satiric effect. The familiarity of the television situation comedy is recreated on stage with a very different kind of family and with a different purpose.

Luis Valdez is the founder and artistic director of the internationally-known El Teatro Campesino, the theatrical troupe he created during the Great Delano Grape Strike of 1965. The productions of this group have been acclaimed throughout the United States, Mexico, and Europe and have received an OffBroadway Obie Award and numerous Drama Critics Circle Awards in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 1977, Valdez wrote the play Zoot Suit, which became one of the most successful plays to originate in Los Angeles and which would later become the first play by a Chicano to be produced on Broadway (Andelman His play "I Don't Have to Show you No Stinking Badges" was first produced at the Los Angeles Theater Center.

The title comes from the 1948 movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre in which the leader of the bandits delivers this line after claiming to be a federal officer and being asked for his badge. The image that comes to mind is of the stereotypical Mexican bandido, an image that may have some grounding in truth but that is often the only image Americans have of a Mexican. The name of the Villa family is evocative of Pancho Villa, another image that speaks to Americans in a certain way. The setting and the action in the opening sequence creates a mixture of situation comedy reality and illusion. The use of the television set with Treasure of the Si...

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I Don't Have to Show You No Stinking Badges. (2000, January 01). In Retrieved 03:46, February 20, 2017, from