Getty Villa presents Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles
A new adaptation by Luis Alfaro, directed by Jessica Kubzansky and produced by The Theatre @ Boston Court, Sep 10 - Oct 3
As the tenth annual outdoor theatrical production in the Barbara and Lawrence Fleischman Theater at the Getty Villa, the J. Paul Getty Museum presents the west coast premiere of Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, a new production by Pasadena-based The Theatre @ Boston Court, directed by co-artistic director Jessica Kubzansky.
Published on LatinoLA: September 5, 2015
A breathtaking reimagining of Euripides's Medea transported to East Los Angeles, the play is a new adaptation by Luis Alfaro, MacArthur Fellow and critically acclaimed author of Electricidad and Oedipus el Rey.
Euripides is said to have been born on the island of Salamis, west of Athens, around 484 B.C. and to have died around 406 B.C. in Macedonia. His Medea was produced for competition at the spring religious festival for Dionysos in Athens in 431 B.C. The play follows the sensational story of the legendary sorceress, Medea, granddaughter of the Sun and princess of Colchis, who deceived her family by aiding Jason's theft of the Golden Fleece and then fled with him and their two sons into exile in Corinth.
The ancient play opens with the exiled family living unhappily in Corinth; neither Jason nor Medea can claim a land to call home, and Jason has decided the family will benefit from his marriage to the daughter of the king. In revenge, Medea deceives and manipulates everyone around her, using fearless audacity, magic and murder to secure her retribution.
In Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Luis Alfaro tells an epic journey of border crossings, where his Medea, a seamstress with extraordinary skill, runs from a past of betrayals. With husband, Hason, and son in tow, Medea's struggle to adapt takes a tragic turn when old and new worlds meet in the City of Angels. Alfaro's gripping contemporary take on the ancient Greek myth tackles the complexities of family, tradition, culture, and the explosive moment when they all collide.
"Directing a new adaptation of this old, old story thrills me, as it resonates for Los Angeles today and echoes back to the ancient Greek, both in the extraordinary setting of the outdoor Getty Villa theatre, and in the fresh resonance that sings from Luis's modern lens," said director Jessica Kubzansky. "The particular and prodigious gift of Luis Alfaro is that he takes a Greek play, places it in our town with people that we know, and from that specificity finds a way to universally show us ourselves. Luis's adaptation makes me breathe and sweat and suffer anew with all the characters in this ancient story, and that new perspective feels both relevant and necessary. I am honored to have the opportunity to bring this extraordinary new adaptation to life."
"I am so happy to be making art in and for my hometown of Los Angeles," said adaptor Luis Alfaro. "Although the title of my play may seem incendiary, I am ultimately writing a love story of tragic repercussions that we have seen played out in history over and over again. Maybe this is why we keep going back to the Greeks ÔÇô to learn how to be better people. I hope this L.A. story allows us to see the struggle in each other and unites us as one city towards making a better citizenry for all."
The Getty Villa's annual outdoor theater production is part of an innovative year-round theater program that enhances the visitor's experience of the ancient world. Live performances of classical drama offer insight into the social, cultural, and political realities of life in ancient Greece and Rome. In the galleries, the works of art serve to deepen the connection between modern audiences and the mythical stories underlying the tragedies and comedies on stage.
"Theater was a fundamental part of religious and social life in the ancient world, and as the Villa's theater program ÔÇô now in its tenth year ÔÇô shows, Classical drama still resonates powerfully with contemporary playwrights, actors, and audiences," says Jeffrey Spier, senior curator of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa. "We are thrilled with Louis Alfaro's powerful, provocative, and modern adaptation of the Euripides classic, Medea, and look forward to having it come to life at the Villa this fall. I am confident that our audience will find it gripping."
Performances of Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles will be held Thursday through Saturday, September 10 through October 3, 2015, at 8:00 p.m., with previews from September 3 through 5. Tickets for Thursday night performances are $40 ($36 for students and seniors), Friday night performances are $42, and Saturday night performances are $45. Student and senior discounts available for Thursday night performances only. Ticket prices for the previews are $25. Tickets are available at (310) 440-7300 or www.getty.edu.
About Jessica Kubzansky
Jessica Kubzansky is the co-artistic director of The Theatre @ Boston Court, and an award-winning director working nationally. She recently directed the world premiere and New York premiere of Sheila Callaghan's Everything You Touch (T@BC/The Cherry Lane), Pygmalion (Pasadena Playhouse), RII, her three-person adaptation of Richard II (T@BC). Kubzansky has received numerous awards and honors, including the Drama Critics' Circle's Margaret Harford Award.
About Luis Alfaro
Luis Alfaro is a native of downtown Los Angeles. Among his awards are MacArthur, Joyce, and Mellon Foundation fellowships. He is the playwright-in-residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a professor at the University of Southern California. His plays are regularly produced at The Magic Theatre in San Francisco, Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, and Playwrights Arena in Los Angeles.
About The Theatre @ Boston Court
Based in Pasadena, CA, The Theatre @ Boston Court produces passionate, artist-driven theatre that challenges both artist and audience, urging its artists to fearlessly and passionately pursue their unique voice and passion. Play selection encompasses a wide variety of genres (with a special emphasis on nurturing playwrights and new play development), which are inherently theatrical, textually rich, and visually arresting. The Theatre @ Boston Court has produced world premieres by playwrights such as Luis Alfaro, Sheila Callaghan, Julia Cho, Dan Dietz, Jason Grote, Jordan Harrison, Carlos Murillo, Laura Schellhardt, Octavio Solis, Deborah Stein, Jean Claude Van Itallie, Kathryn Walat, David Wiener, among many others. The Theatre @ Boston Court is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The Shubert Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Edgerton Foundation, the Les and Sheri Biller Family Foundation, Founding Director Z. Clark Branson, and the generosity of individual supporters and contributors. The Theatre @ Boston Court is the award-winning resident theatre company at Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, California: Michael Seel, Executive Director; Jessica Kubzansky and Michael Michetti, Artistic Directors; Hillary Metcalf Schenk, Managing Director. bostoncourt.org