GALLIPOLIS — After Susan Frontczak’s living history performance as Erma Bombeck Tuesday evening, Fred Blanco will take the stage under the big red tent as Cesar Chavez at 7:30 p.m., tonight, with music by CeeCee Miller at 6:30 p.m.
According to ohiohumanities.org, “Fred Blanco brings Cesar Chavez (March 31, 1927 – April 23, 1993) to the stage. Chavez was a labor and civil rights activist and reformer who, with Dolores Huerta, founded the United Farm Workers labor union to protect the rights of migrant workers. Chavez brought national attention to his cause by organizing non-violent protests, boycotts, legislative reform efforts, and hunger strikes in the spirit of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. In 1968, he went on a widely publicized 25-day fast promoting non-violence, which ended with an outdoor Roman Catholic mass. For thirty years Chavez tenaciously devoted himself to the problems of some of the poorest workers in America. The movement he inspired succeeded in raising salaries and improving working conditions for farm workers in California, Texas, Arizona, and Florida.”
According to Ohio Chautauaqua program materials,”Blanco has appeared on stage and screen for 20 years, performing with the national tour troupe, Traveling Lantern, and the street theatre company, The Bad Puppets. Featured on radio and television, his solo production, The stories of Cesar Chavez, has reached theatre audiences for the last 12 years. In that time, he has worked with the L.A. Unified School District and L.A. County Office of Education to bring theatre into the classroom. He has brought the show to the famed Chicano Theatre, Su Teatro in Denver, CO, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM, to name a few.”
Blanco has received the Brickenden Award as well as Best of Fringe for his performances in San Fransisco and Canada, respectively. He speaks as a living scholar interpreting Chavez at Chautauquas outside of Ohio as well.
Chavez has been quoted as saying that “Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.”