"Mojada" Cast and Creative Team

Posted 27 October 2017

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of
MOJADA: A MEDEA IN LOS ANGELES
By Luis Alfaro 
Directed by Juliette Carrillo 

THE CAST
MedeaSabina Zuniga Varela* 
JasonLakin Valdez* 
TitaVIVIS*  
JosefinaNancy Rodriguez*
ArmidaVilma Silva* 
AcanJahnangel Jimenez  
SoldierKen Yoshikawa
THE CREATIVE TEAM
PlaywrightLuis Alfaro
DirectorJuliette Carrillo
Scenic & Costume DesignerChristopher Acebo
Lighting DesignerLonnie Rafael Alcaraz
Composer & Sound DesignerDavid Molina
Video DesignerKaitlyn Pietras
Dramaturg Tiffany Ana López
Voice & Text DirectorMichelle Lopez-Rios
Fight DirectorU. Jonathan Toppo*
Stage ManagerD. Christian Bolender*
Rehearsal Assistant Stage ManagerMary Meagan Smith*
Production Assistant Katie Nguyen
Repertory ProducerMica Cole
Casting DirectorJoy Dickson

This production of Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles was originally produced at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Bill Rauch, Artistic Director, Cynthia Rider, Executive Director.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

CAST BIOS

 Jahnangel Jimenez
Acan

Jahnangel (JJ) is an 11-year-old in sixth grade at Talent Middle School. He is passionate about school and enjoys playing sports such as football, basketball, boxing and baseball. JJ loves spending time with his family and friends. He is excited to make his debut at The Armory after performing this role at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. JJ hopes he inspires other kids to join the theater.


Nancy Rodriguez
Josefina

Nancy is happy to be returning to Portland Center Stage at The Armory, where she was last seen in for colored girls ... as Lady in Yellow. Broadway: Lincoln Center (Cymbeline). Off-Broadway: Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, INTAR, Schoolhouse Theater, Abingdon Theatre Company. Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Nancy will enter her ninth season in 2018, playing Elinor in Sense and Sensibility; favorite OSF shows are Water by the Spoonful, The Happiest Song Plays Last, The Riverbride, Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Fingersmith, The Cherry Orchard, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Two Sisters and a Piano. Other regional: Guthrie Theater, Two River Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Studio Theatre. Film/Television: Detachment, Indigo, Into Me See, The Promise, Cricket Head, Bored of Education, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU, Mercy, One Life to Live. Awards: HOLA Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Ensemble. Education: B.F.A., Boston University.

Vilma Silva
Armida
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Armida in Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles; Mistress Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor; Senhora Costa in The River Bride; Apemantus in Timon of Athens; Haikumom in Water by the Spoonful; Goneril in King Lear; Sor Rufina in The Tenth Muse; Julius Caesar in Julius Caesar; Portia in The Merchant of Venice; Katherine in Henry VIII; Emilia in Othello; Beatrice in A View from the Bridge; Katherina in The Taming of the Shrew; Amy in Gibraltar; Maria Celia in Two Sisters and a Piano; China in El Paso Blue; Isabella in Measure for Measure; Lise in The Magic Fire; Governess in The Turn of the Screw; Juliet in Romeo and Juliet; Bride in Blood Wedding, among others. Other theaters: Steppenwolf, TheatreWorks, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Dallas Theater Center, American Conservatory Theater, El Teatro Campesino, Sundance Institute Playwrights Lab. Awards: Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship.

Lakin Valdez
Jason

Lakin Valdez is thrilled to make his debut at The Armory with Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles. Born and raised in the extended family of El Teatro Campesino, Lakin served as the company’s associate artistic director from 2000-2005. He is the recipient of two National Performance Network Awards, and an NEA Access to Excellence Award, among others. Lakin has performed with Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles), San Jose Stage (Valley of the Heart), Goodman Theatre (Mother Road, New Stages), American Conservatory Theatre (Between Riverside and Crazy), La Jolla Playhouse (El Henry), San Diego Repertory Theatre (Oedipus El Rey), Marin Theatre Company (Lydia) and El Teatro Campesino (Victor in Shadow). Film/Television: The Brave (NBC), Slice (A24 Films), The Narc (Prospect), Crisis (NBC), The Cisco Kid (TNT) and Fort Figueroa (CBS).


VIVIS    
Tita
L.A. Ovation Award nomination for Featured Actress in a Play for the role of Tita in Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles at The Getty Villa. Theater: Tita in Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Getty Villa); Gibraltar (Thick Description); ¡CANTINFLAS! (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, John Anson Ford Theater, The Alley, NY National Arts Festival); I Don’t Have ... Stinking Badges, La Pastorela, La Virgen del Tepeyac (Teatro Campesino); Blood Wedding (Teatro Visión); Mummified Deer (world premiere, San Diego Repertory Theatre); Burning Patience (Alliance Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company); Medea in Medea, the Hungry Woman (Stanford University); Watsonville ... (The York Theatre Company); The Lady from Havana (Theatreworks); A Streetcar Named Desire (American Conservatory Theatre); Zoot Suit (tour). Film: Ouija, Mojave, Chávez, Paranormal Activity 2, Rent, Patch Adams, Dangerous Minds, Mi Vida Loca, Gas, Food and Lodging, Strawberry Road, Primo. Television: NCIS LA, Adam Ruins Everything, Jane the Virgin, East Los High (4 seasons), Workaholics, Past Life and Medium.

Ken Yoshikawa 
Soldier
Ken is delighted to appear for the first time at The Armory in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles. Recent credits: Malvolio/Antonio in Twelfth Night (Oregon Adventure Theatre); Doctor/Clerk in You For Me For You (Portland Playhouse); Ensemble in The Last Bell Rings for You (Performance Works NW); The Artist in The Courtesan (MediaRites); Edgar in King Lear (Oregon Adventure Theatre); Mr. Oji in After the War Blues (Theatre Diaspora); George and Ensemble in Gambatte (Vanport Mosaic); Fool in King Lear (Reed College Shoestring Theatre); Bunce in One Flea Spare (Reed College Theatre). After growing up in Japan, England, the Netherlands and Australia, Ken lives in Portland, where he frequently collaborates with Oregon Adventure Theatre, co-leads workshops in commedia dell'arteand writes and performs slam poetry. Ken is a 2007 OSF Semmie and he received his B.A in Theater at Reed College. He would like to express gratitude for his family, his friends, and his teachers for their kindness and wisdom.

Sabina Zuniga Varela     
Medea
Sabina is honored to be making her debut at The Armory! She has been exploring Luis Alfaro’s Medea journey since the world premiere of Bruja at Magic Theatre. Since then, she has performed in Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles at both The Getty Villa (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Lead Performance) and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. With this role, she completes all three of Luis Alfaro’s Greek adaptations, including the title role in Electricidad at The National Hispanic Cultural Center and Jocasta in Oedipus El Rey at Dallas Theater Center. Her regional credits include: You Never Can Tell (CalShakes), Native Gardens (world premiere, Cincinnati Playhouse), Chavez Ravine: An L.A. Revival (Kirk Douglas Theatre), A Christmas Carol (Dallas Theater Center), Water by the Spoonful (TheatreWorks), Still Life (NHCC). She received her M.F.A. in Acting at USC and holds an M.A. in Special Education from UNM. She is forever thankful to her parents and loved ones for their support!

CREATIVE TEAM BIOS

Luis Alfaro
Playwright
Luis Alfaro is a Chicano writer/performer known for his work in poetry, theater, short stories, performance and journalism. His plays and performances have been seen at The Public Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Magic Theatre, The Theatre at Boston Court, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Kirk Douglas Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Primary Stages and The Kennedy Center, among others. He is the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, popularly known as a “genius grant,” and is the first-ever resident playwright of Oregon Shakespeare Festival, courtesy of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant. Alfaro is currently under commission from Center Theatre Group, Victory Gardens Theater, Magic Theatre and Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the THIS GOLDEN STATE trilogy, and also from South Coast Repertory. Alfaro is also a producer/director who spent 10 years at the Mark Taper Forum as associate producer, director of new play development and co-director of the Latino Theatre Initiative. He is an Assistant Professor at the USC School of Dramatic Arts.

Juliette Carrillo
Director
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window. Regional: Many premieres, including Lydia (Mark Taper Forum, Yale Repertory Theatre, Denver Center Theatre Company); Brownsville Song, The Brothers Size, The Cook (Seattle Repertory Theatre); Plumas Negras, Ghost Town (as writer), It’s All Bueno, Touch the Water, Lethe, As Vishnu Dreams, Los Faustinos, Bliss Point (Cornerstone Theater Company); References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Anna in the Tropics, California Scenarios, Nostalgia, The Countess, Sidney Bechet Killed A Man, Jane of the Jungle (South Coast Repertory); Oliverío (The Kennedy Center), Cloud Tectonics (Alliance Theatre); The Eviction, Eyes for Consuela (Magic Theatre); Sonia Flew (Laguna Playhouse); El Paso Blue (Summer Play Festival, New York); The Play that Knows What You Want (Women’s Project Theater); and others. Awards and honors: Gypsy Rose Lee Awards (Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Brothers Size); Examiner Awards (Arizona Theatre Company, The Glass Menagerie); GLAAD Award (Mark Taper Forum, Lydia); Ovation Awards and Henry Awards (Denver Center Theatre Company, Lydia); Alan Schneider Award nomination; Zelda Fichandler Award nomination; Drama-Logue Awards; NEA/TCG Directing Fellowship; Princess Grace Award; among others. Education: M.F.A., Yale School of Drama. juliettecarrillo.com

Christopher Acebo
Scenic and Costume Designer
In 12 seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival: scenic designs for Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles; UniSon; Disney's Beauty and the Beast; Twelfth Night; The WizFingersmith; Long Day’s Journey into Night; Head Over Heels; All the Way (Broadway, Seattle Repertory Theatre, American Repertory Theater); The Great Society; A Streetcar Named Desire; King Lear; Seagull; The Imaginary Invalid; Equivocation. Other theaters: World premieres include Cuba Libre (Artists Repertory Theatre); Throne of Blood (Brooklyn Academy of Music); The Clean House (Yale Repertory Theatre); Zorro in Hell (Berkeley Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse); My Wandering Boy, The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, The Beard of Avon, Hold Please (South Coast Repertory); Living Out, Chavez Ravine, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner (Mark Taper Forum); and Electricidad (Goodman Theatre). Education: M.F.A., University of California, San Diego. Christopher serves as chair of the Oregon Arts Commission and on the board of directors for Theatre Communication Group.

Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz
Lighting Designer
Lonnie is a professor at University of California, Irvine. He has designed at regional theaters across the country, including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Laguna Playhouse, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Pasadena Playhouse, Great River Shakespeare Festival and The Utah Shakespeare Festival. Recent design experience includes Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Peter Pan and Deathtrap at Syracuse Stage; The Crucible at Arkansas Repertory Theatre; The Whipping Man at Pasadena Playhouse; Ghost Town with Cornerstone Theater Company (where he is an associate artist); and Richard III and The Comedy of Errors for Great River Shakespeare Festival’s 2017 summer season. He is a member of the United Scenic Artists/IATSE, Local 829. lradesigns.com

David Molina
Composer and Sound Designer
Theater: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Cornerstone Theater Company, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Campo Santo, Teatro Campesino. As a resident artist: Brava Theater Center, Naka Dance Theater, USF’s Performing Arts and Social Justice Program, Magic Theatre (1997 to 2004), Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Teatro Jornalero, Soapstone Theater Company, Drum Machine Museum. Multimedia and sound art: SF MOMA, Oakland Museum of California, Sundance Film Festival, SOMarts, Mcloughlin Gallery, Counter Pulse. Film/TV/video: PBS, Not in Our Town, Spots Unknown, Tolleson Design, Unity Lab, Cause Collective. Frequent collaborators: Violeta Luna, Roberto Gutiérrez Varea, Rhodessa Jones. Other credits: founding member of Secos y Mojados, 2013 Asterisk Magazine feature, Behind the Dream (audio book). Awards: L.A. Ovation 2009, Creative Capital 2009, Phyllis Wattis 2011, Musical Grant Program 2016. Bands: Impuritan, Idris Ackamoor and The Pyramids, Ackamoor/Molina Duet, Ghosts and Strings, Transient. drmsound.com

Kaitlyn Pietras
Video Designer
Regional: Smart People (Denver Center for the Performing Arts); Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles and UniSon (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Flora & Ulysses and OZ 2.5 (South Coast Repertory); Breaking Through (Pasadena Playhouse); Cuba Libre (Artists Repertory Theatre). New York: A Fable (Cherry Lane Theatre); The Gin Baby (IRT Theater); Do Like the Kids Do and Shiner (IAMA Theatre Company). Opera: Young Caesar (The Industry/Los Angeles Philharmonic). Los Angeles: The Other PlaceThe English Bride and Melissa Arctic (Road Theatre Company); RII (The Theatre at Boston Court); Thieves and Slipping (Rattlestick West). Dance: The Jungle BookGreaseAladdin and Land of Oz (Owensboro Dance Theatre). Awards: LA Drama Critics Circle Award for RII, LA Weekly Award nominations for RII and Slipping, New York Innovative Theatre Award nomination for The Gin Baby. USA Local 829 member. pxtstudio.com, @pxtstudio

Tiffany Ana López
Dramaturg
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles. Playwrights workshops: Latina/o Theater Alliance of Los Angeles; L.A. ViewsDowntown Curren(t)cyLives Looking for ChangeIn the Shadow of Hollywood, The LA Uprising. Production dramaturg: Hungry Woman (CASA 0101). Script dramaturg: Angel of the Desert (South Coast Repertory). Production and script consultant: Digging Up the Dirt (Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble). Monograph author, audience and educator guides, teaching artist: Center Theatre Group; The CiviliansThis Beautiful CityEdward ScissorhandsWater and PoweriWitnessLewis and Clark Reach the EuphratesElectricidadDiscovery Journal: Chavez RavineSez She: The Solo Performance Work of Kate Rigg, Ann Stocking and Denise Uyehara. Other credits: director of the School of Film, Dance and Theatre and professor of theater at Arizona State University; founding artistic director of Latina/o Play Project at the Barbara and Art Culver Center for the Arts; professor of theater at University of California, Riverside; teaching artist for Mark Taper Forum; member of the National Latina/o Theater Alliance. Awards: Fulbright Fellow, grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation.

Michelle Lopez-Rios
Voice and Text Director
Regional: Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Julius Caesar (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Measure for Measure (Goodman Theatre); OthelloHamletThe Taming of the ShrewComedy of Errors (Houston Shakespeare Festival); A Lovely Sunday for Creve CoeurThe Train DriverBoeing, BoeingThe Good FatherTalking HeadsDuet for OneDriving Miss DaisyPicnicThe Sum of Us (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre); Educating RitaCrumbs from the Table of Joy (Renaissance Theaterworks); James and the Giant PeachLuchadora (First Stage); and others. Founder of The Royal Mexican Players. Teaching: Associate Professor of Voice & Speech at The Theatre School at DePaul, Adjunct Voice Professor at University of Houston. Directing: One Hot Texican Summer (or the summer I found out I was Mexican) (The Royal Mexican Players); The Mole Hill Stories (First Stage); Enfrascada (Renaissance Theaterworks); Precious Lives (371 Productions); and others. Board Member: Voice and Speech Trainers Association. Education: M.F.A., University of Houston; B.F.A., University of Southern California. 

U. Jonathan Toppo
Fight Director
In 27 seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival: fight director for Julius CaesarShakespeare in LoveUniSonOff the RailsHannah and the Dread GazeboHenry IV, Part TwoThe Merry Wives of Windsor, Disney’s Beauty and the BeastThe Odyssey, HamletThe WizRichard IIGuys and DollsFingersmith, Secret Love in Peach Blossom LandSweatPericlesLong Day’s Journey into NightThe Happiest Song Plays LastCocoanutsA Wrinkle in TimeThe Comedy of ErrorsWater by the SpoonfulRichard IIIInto the WoodsThe Taming of the ShrewA Streetcar Named DesireKing LearThe UnfortunatesThe Liquid PlainCymbelineRomeo and JulietAnimal CrackersAll the WayHenry VAugust: Osage County, The Pirates of PenzanceTo Kill a Mockingbird, Cat on a Hot Tin RoofRuinedHenry IV, Part OneThe Merchant of VeniceAmerican NightMacbethThe Music Man,  among others.

D. Christian Bolender
Stage Manager
In 16 seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival: production stage manager for over 30 productions, most recently Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Off the Rails, Great Expectations, The Winter’s Tale, Timon of Athens, Fingersmith, Antony and Cleopatra, The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window, The Great Society, The Liquid Plain, Two Trains Running, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella, All the Way. Other theaters: Seattle Repertory Theatre (ATW/TGS), Alley Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Missouri/Kansas City Repertory Theater, TheatreWorks, Struther’s Library Theatre, Interlochen, Houston Grand Opera, Kansas City Ballet, Opera Ateliér. Other credits: stage manager, O (Cirque du Soleil); production stage manager, Notre Dame de Paris (Las Vegas); Dido and Aeneas (European tour); production manager, Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

Mary Meagan Smith
Rehearsal Assistant Stage Manager
In four seasons at OSF: assistant stage manager for Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles, Off the RailsThe Merry Wives of Windsor; production assistant for Great ExpectationsHamletMuch Ado About NothingLong Day’s Journey into NightThe Great Society, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Water by the Spoonful; FAIR stage management intern for The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window. Other theaters: production assistant for All the Way, The Great Society (Seattle Repertory Theatre); stage manager for Avenue Q, Our Town (Southern Oregon University); Machinal, In Your Eyes (Arizona Theatre Company). Education: B.F.A., Southern Oregon University. 

Katie Nguyen
Production Assistant
Katie Nguyen is a stage manager from Fairfax, Virginia, and a recent graduate of Virginia Tech. While pursuing a degree in business management, she served as a stage manager, festival producer and production manager for Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts. She is humbled to be at The Armory as one of two stage management apprentices for the 2017-2018 season. Prior to moving to Portland, she co-founded a non-profit theater collective in Washington, D.C. (Who What Where Theater) and worked as a summer camp teaching artist for Acting For Young People in Fairfax, Virginia.

Mica Cole
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Repertory Producer
Mica joined Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2013 and has since overseen more than 40 productions as repertory producer, including a dozen transfers and co-productions. These include the world premieres of Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, which was later produced at The Public Theater and on Broadway; Lisa Loomer’s Roe, which moved to Arena Stage and Berkeley Repertory Theatre; Robert Schenkkan’s The Great Society, a co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre; and Alexa Jung’s adaptation of Fingersmith, which was later seen at American Repertory Theater. Additionally, as a member of the company’s executive leadership, she shares responsibility for strategic planning, season selection, budgeting and the organizational commitment to social justice. Prior to OSF, Mica worked in Chicago as the executive director of Free Street Theater for five seasons. Other Chicago ventures include collaborations with Writers Theatre, Teatro Luna, MPAACT and Collaboraction. She is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University.

Joy Dickson
Oregon Shakespeare Festival Casting Director                             
Ten seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other theaters: Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum (including Taper Too, Taper New Works, Juneteenth, P.L.A.Y.), Ojai Playwrights Conference, Geffen Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Goodman Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage at The Armory, Cleveland Play House, Ahmanson Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Pasadena Playhouse, Intiman Theatre, A.S.K. Theatre Projects. Film/TV: Terri (Sundance Film Festival), Easier with Practice (Cinevegas, Edinburgh Film Festivals), Stephanie Daley (Sundance, Deauville Film Festival), The Business of Strangers (Sundance, Deauville), Interview with the Assassin (Tribeca Film Festival), The Tao of Steve (Sundance), Lush (Sundance), The Independent (HBO/U.S Comedy Arts Festival), Perdita Durango (Toronto Film Festival), Quarterlife (Bedford Falls Productions/NBC), The Men’s Room (NBC), Off Centre (The WB), The Mullets (UPN). Teaching: Adjunct professor, California Institute of the Arts. Education: B.A., Smith College.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) has grown from a three-day festival of two plays to a major theater arts organization that presents an eight-month season consisting of 11 plays that include works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals, and new works. The Festival draws attendance of more than 400,000 to approximately 800 performances every year and employs approximately 575 theater professionals. OSF’s mission statement: "Inspired by Shakespeare's work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory." OSF is committed to diversity and inclusion in all areas of its work and in its audiences.



Don't miss Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles.
Running November 4 to November 26 on the U.S. Bank Main Stage.

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