Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles

What do we, as a community, a nation, as a family, as individuals, do when our political atmosphere is so charged that we are left only with a feeling of helplessness? Even hopelessness. So asks the actor, Sabina Zuniga Valera. Here’s a play, suggests Sabina, that gives us a sharp and microscopic look on a perfect storm, when compassion is not available. The relevance of Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, says Sabina, seems to be “popping”.  And with that, it becomes so very useful in creating dialogue when little else will. Among us all.

 

EMBODYING THE IMMIGRANT EXPERIENCE

 

 

In this retelling of Medea seen through the lens of immigrants to the United States, playwright Luis Alfaro blends tragedy, wry humor, Mexican folklore and a bracingly modern setting to unleash the power of Euripides’ ancient tale of love, transformation and betrayal. The title of the play is based on the Spanish word mojado/a, which translates literally as “wet” and is also a slur akin to “wetback” for Mexican immigrants. In using the word for the title of his play, Luis Alfaro said, “It’s a word that has existed in my vernacular since I was little, so it’s a word that for me, has a lot of resonance and a lot of power … I wanted to disarm that word, I wanted the word to re-appropriate itself, I wanted for us to own the word, and see how ugly that word is, and also give it new meaning.”

In the role of Medea, activist, actor, and teacher Sabina Zuniga Varela tells us, that through the emotion and through line of this play, the audience is able to reach a cathartic moment that, with the aide of humour, allows us to tap into the sadness we all must embrace, acknowledge and feel. That we don’t have to be quiet anymore, and that we can talk about the things that must be talked about, between all of us. No more “us” and “them”, suggests Sabina. She reminds us we are more “connected than we are different”.

Below, we offer two edits from our video shoot that we thought you would like to see. Each for its different  perspective and depth. Also, there’s the entire, unedited conversation for you to listen to as well.

 

 

The alternate version below, allowed us to go a little more in-depth with Sabina and her observations on the depth of value that a live audience offers,  and how breath is key to performing this powerful piece on a nightly basis.

 

Listen to the complete and unedited interview, below, with Sabina and Robert Parish.

 

LINK UP

Coming up 11/19/2017

Immigration Symposium with Catholic Charities on November 19th:

Join a panel of diverse community leaders who will engage participants in dialogue, reflection and inspiration in facilitated round tables to address the ongoing need for individuals and communities to be advocates for the needs of their communities. Featuring a keynote address by Oregon’s Attorney General, Ellen F. Rosenblum.

More information and RSVP for your free ticket here.

More at Portland Center Stage at The Armory HERE.

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About Inessa

A skipping stone from Portland, to Michigan, New York City, and back to Portland. It was theatre and dance worlds in Manhattan. And here in Portland, total immersion into the radio broadcasting world, more dance, theatre, art and endless music.

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