Make a Day of It – Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles – opens tonight at Portland Center Stage

Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our new “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!

The next installment of this series is Mojada at Portland Center Stage, opening tonight and running through November 26.

First the running:

For the run paired with this modern interpretation on Euripides’ Greek tragedy Medea, Run Oregon suggests a loop around Reed College – after all, it’s known as a leading liberal arts college where unique perspectives on the arts set the standard for breaking rules.

Fortunately for those interested in checking out the beautiful campus, it’s a lovely run. You can start at Westmoreland Park, off SE Bybee and 22nd Ave just off McLoughlin Boulevard. From there, take Bybee over that major artery and north (left) along the Eastmoreland Golf Course to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden on SE 28th Ave, and then head into campus on one of the driveways. Many of them continue as roads, but like most colleges, there are footpaths crossing the campus that you can take however you see fit.

I would recommend running through campus and then exiting on the south side, onto SE Reed College Place, a boulevard that ends at SE Crystal Springs Blvd. From there, you can turn left (east) and wind your way down to the Springwater Corridor Trail, or turn right (west) and head down the gentle slope back to SE Bybee to finish up your run.

Now to the details to the experience itself:

Mojada opens tonight (November 10) and runs for only a short time – November 26. Perhaps the most obvious reason to see this play – even if you know nothing of the original Greek story – is that it’s the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s production that ran for six months in Ashland, and nearly all of the same cast will be performing in Portland.

As with nearly all Greek plays, there is a lot going on. To bring you up to speed, here’s a quick summary of the original play by Euripides. Medea is a princess from a “barbarian kingdom,” the now ex-wife of Jason (the one who searches for the Golden Fleece). Jason, single again, is planning to marry another woman, and Medea goes on a rage in which she kills nearly everyone and basically ruins everyone’s life (everyone still living, that is).

In Mojada, this story is recast in Los Angeles, and sets about answering the question, “What is the price we pay when we come to a new country?” The word “mojada” means “wet” (Spanish), and is used because of the derogatory term often aimed at those from Central America (“wetbacks”). Director Luis Alfaro explains why he chose this, saying, “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.”

What intrigues me most about this play is that the director also describes it as a perspective on “the ongoing immigration debate in this country.” This is a topic I’m trying to learn more about, since my family immigrated to the U.S. more than a hundred years ago, and from Northern Europe. This play, a look into what a hard-working family goes through to try to “fit in,” should be exciting and thought-provoking. If you agree, read on for show dates, times, and ticket information.

In conjunction with this production, Portland Center Stage is hosting a collaborative art project in support of the Center for Immigration Defense. The installation, named, “Ni de aqui, ne de alla,” which translates to “Not from here, not from there” in English, can be viewed at The Armory.

Event Dates:

  • November 10-26, 2017


  • Evenings: Tuesday – Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (except on Thanksgiving night)
  • Matinees: Saturday and Sundays at 2 p.m., Thursdays at noon (except tomorrow, November 11), plus a special matinee on Thursday, November 16 at noon

Cost: Purchase tickets here:

  • Adults: $25-$87
  • Student/Under Age 30: $30-35


About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

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