Stepping into Magic: an actor's journey…

"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them" ~William Shakespeare

Archive for the month “July, 2017”

#MojadaMedeaOSF: El Ultimo…

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The Cast and Crew of Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival 2017

We did it! On July 6th, 2017 (the 110th birthday of Frida Kahlo) we closed the chapter on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival run of Luis Alfaro’s Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles.

Closing performances are surreal and bittersweet. We connect and build a family of cast and crew, then we have to break apart. This show is particularly special as this story has been on a journey for five years. When it began in 2012 at The Magic Theatre in San Francisco it was finding it’s voice for the first time, after runs in Chicago and Los Angeles it was finding it’s characters and setting, refining the language and movement. Here in Oregon the story has leapt off of the pages again and into the hearts of thousands. Our story has found itself and actively cultivates empathy, discussion and catharsis. Each incarnation has given voice to the voiceless, remembered the forgotten and held space in honor of those who sacrifice daily to live and breathe.

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This is one of the most demanding roles I have faced. It is exhausting and exhilarating. Having approached Luis Alfaro’s Medea three times I have explored the depths and darkness of her plight over and over, and each time it has been a completely new experience.  The emotional demands, the heavy subject matter, the heartbreaking poetry, the love, the violence and the language permeate the rehearsal room and then bleed into the sacred space of the theatre. Something is conjured with this play, dark and light, new and old, sacred and profane, real and magical. The roots of this story run deep and I can’t help but thank these experiences in shaping my work as an artist and more importantly as a human.

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L to R: 2012 Bruja @ The Magic Theatre, 2015 Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles @ The Getty Villa, 2017 Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles @ The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Now after 42 performances, we take a pause in this chapter of our storytelling. The cast, set and costumes will be traveling to Portland Center Stage in November. Join us in the 5th production of this vital story in the American Theatre cannon and/or spread the word to your family and friends in the pacific northwest!

Until then I leave this video here as a remembrance of my journey with this production:

MOJADA: A MEDEA IN LOS ANGELES 

 

Enjoy!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who joined us on the journey of this story. To the cast and crew, you are all incredibly talented artists and the world of theatre is a better place because of you! To all of the audience members who gave me hugs, words of encouragement and love, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. To all of the family and friends (Mom and Dad, Rich and Theresa, Tia Dolores, Lisa and Jenny, Wilma, Sarita, Rafael, Monica, Elmira, John Lescault, Randall… just to name a few) who traveled up to this little Southern Oregon theatre town, I thank you for being a part of this journey. To my OSF family, I love you and I will miss each and every one of you, but I carry you in my heart. To my love Miles, who saw the show 9 times and sent me 9 roses on closing, I couldn’t have done this without your support, understanding and love…

Axqueniuhqui

(Thank You)

SZV

Mojada Full Poster OSF

 

 

 

 

#MojadaMedeaOSF: Penultimate. Only one chance left…

mojada-1Today marked our second to last performance of Luis Alfaro’s Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It is auspicious not only because it happens to be July 2nd, but also because it is the anniversary of the 1st production of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival that started in 1935!

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Drama professor, Angus L. Bowmer, a teacher at Southern Oregon Normal School in Ashland, approached the city with a plan to have a theatre festival as part of the 4th of July celebration. The city approved and gave him $400 towards the festival. He and his students got to work creating the costumes, simple props and set pieces and presented two plays: Twelfth Night on July 2nd, Merchant of Venice on July 3rd  and Twelfth Night again on the 4th of July. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival  was born! It began in a repertory schedule and continues 82 years later as the largest regional rotating repertory theatre in the United States!

Click HERE to listen to a 1952 radio interview with Angus L. Bowmer.  He talks about the history of the Festival, provides an extended excerpt from the 1951 production of “Twelfth Night,” and discusses the upcoming 1952 season.

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The Cast of Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles: (Clockwise Left to Right) Nancy Rodriguez, SZV, Lakin Valdez, Vilma Silva, VIVIS (center) and Jahnangel “JJ” Jimenez                                               (Not pictured Connor Chaney)

What a journey this has been, I am still surprised that we have only one show left… I am in disbelief, some might call it denial…

As I walked home today I noticed this poster in front of the Episcopal Church on 2nd St. I couldn’t find the name of the artist, so if anyone knows, please let me know! It stopped me in my tracks and brought tears to my eyes… To know that there are people, families, children, at this very moment, making the journey to cross the border. They are risking their lives and hearts for a dream, a need, shelter, hope, new beginnings…

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I love telling this story.

I am honored be able tell this story.

I hope you have heard our story.

Please join us to listen to this story.

Our final performance is Thursday July 6th at 8pm. Get your tickets HERE.

My heart is prepared to tell it for the last time on the Angus Bowmer stage, but my spirit isn’t ready…

I am comforted by the announcement that we will be transferring this production to Portland Center Stage in the fall. The entire cast, set and costumes with be heading up north in late October to rehearse, tech and present this story November 4th-26th. So mark your calendars if you live in the area, or send the information along to friends and family you may have that live nearby.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSF!

Thank you for being a home away from home, a sanctuary for telling stories and a vehicle for change…

Congrats to the cast and crew of Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles for one hell of a run!

I am proud to be a company member and part of this fantastic cast!

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