Playwright and Director Luis Valdez Discusses “The Power of Zero”
“The future belongs to those who can imagine it.” With this sentence celebrated playwright, theater director, and filmmaker Luis Valdez concluded his provocative talk titled “The Power of Zero,” the second event in The Chicago School’s ongoing “Starting from Scratch: The Psychology of Beginning” lecture series.
Held at the Chicago Cultural Center, the forum drew more than 140 theater and film enthusiasts, representatives of social and cultural institutions who work with the Hispanic community, high-school students, and Chicago School students and faculty. The discussion continued informally during the reception sponsored by the Multicultural and Diversity Affairs Committee.
Called the father of Chicano theater, Valdez is the founder of El Teatro Campesino (1965), which started a national Chicano theater movement. He has written, co-written, and directed many plays depicting the Hispanic experience. He also directed the films Zoot Suit, which was screened at the Chicago Cultural Center the evening before Valez’s talk, and La Bamba.
The Starting from Scratch lecture series was created to be a forum for prominent scholars, intellectuals, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, activists, and community leaders to speak about the psychological dimension of their experience with starting a socially important enterprise from the ground up. Concepts such as “invention,” “creativity,” “inspiration,” “choice,” “pressure,” “satisfaction,” and “self-fulfillment” will be illuminated from the particular professional and individual perspective of each speaker.
Dr. Richard A. Shweder, a cultural psychologist and anthropologist from the University of Chicago, was the first Starting from Scratch lecturer earlier this year.