The Northwest's premiere Latino
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Office: 425 SE 6th Avenue
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Portland OR 97214
503-236-7253


Milagro The Web

OEDIPUS EL REY
Written by Luis Alfaro

With Chicano swagger and sly sense of humor, Luis Alfaro transports Sophocles’ tragedy to the mean streets of East L.A. Here Oedipus does hard time for ripping off a Costco, Jocasta splashes on the Jean Naté while glued to “All My Children” and the oracle takes cash only. But the word on the street is not good and the passion Oedipus has for one woman will violate our most sacred law.

Recomended for ages 16 and older, contains stong language and adult situations.



REVIEWS & COMMENTS

'Oedipus el Rey' review: Miracle Theatre Group cast and director rise to the level of a most-challenging work
by Carol Wells, The Oregonian

Alive with elemental passion and brutality, the Miracle Theatre Group's production ofplaywright Luis Alfaro's brilliant "Oedipus el Rey" gives director Elizabeth Huffman and her cast a chance to demonstrate they can rise to the level of even this most challenging work.

The strict social code of the ancient Greek society of Sophocles' original Oedipus play transfers easily to this slice of present-day California Chicano culture, where neighborhoods are ruled by powerful gangs who function as de facto royalty.

The story follows the ambitious rise of a modern-day Oedipus. Played by a flawlessly centered Nick Ortega, who has such a command of his onstage space he seems at times to be dancing as much as acting, his character aspires to be not just a king, but a god. Such arrogance, naturally, does not go unpunished.

The original Oedipus play, written around four centuries before Christ, naturally has an ancient feel, and Alfaro's modern version, and the Miracle production, replicate that feel. While actors José E. González, Marco Garcia Ballaré, and Osvaldo "Ozzie" González are effective in their individual roles, they are all the more powerful when they join with Anthony Green, Rick Huddle, and Enrique E. Andrade to form the chorus. Then they become the primal group of men who represent strength, who protect the tribe, who enforce the rules.

The lighting (designed by Kristeen Willis Crosser) and sound (by designer and composer Sharath Patel) continue the primitive, abrupt rhythm: one moment we are in a mythic and dark place as Oedipus, in fear for his life, is ordered to answer the riddle of the Sphinx (there are three of them, wearing masks from a nightmare); an instant later the light is clean and bright and the sprightly pop song "Chapel of Love" is heard..

The original play opens upon an Oedipus who has already done the work of killing his father and marrying his mother. It's as if, even in that ancient civilization, the violation of these fundamental taboos was too awful to entertain, except as memory..

Undaunted, Alfaro has forged into this territory. He makes us looks as Oedipus beats his father to death and, even more horrifyingly, as he has sex with his mother, Jocasta. It doesn't help that Olga Sanchez plays her with a sensual yearning and sorrow that lightens after she couples with her son. The playwright constantly winks at us with the fact that we in the audience know the truth, unlike the characters onstage. "All the empty spaces inside of me, it's as if they were always yours," says Jocasta, as her son's lover. The effect on the audience is wicked. There is pleasure in holding critical and secret information. We share in the taboo because we know too much, and we haven't looked away.

Ronni Lacroute

Miracle Theatre's production of "Oedipus el Rey" is an intensely passionate dance with fate, with the entire ensemble directed by Elizabeth Huffmann maintaining a driving rhythm of speech and movement leading to the inevitable conclusion. It is poetry, dance, beauty and violence all set in the mean streets or cell blocks of L.A. while retelling the ancient Greek story with a force that speaks to us today. Magnificent! Olga Sanchez Saltveit is really hot as Jocasta. Don't miss this!

Eleanor Flores
Saw "Oedipus El Rey" at Milagro Theatre and loved it! This is an exciting modern, Chicano adaptation by Luis Alfaro of Oedipus the King. The acting was superb with a great set, music and lighting. This story which includes prison scenes, streets fights has also a bittersweet love story.

Lisa Ann Mitchell
Saw Oedipus el Rey today at Milagro Theatre-outstanding production all around! Olga was everything Jocasta should be and more! The entire cast was very strong and the staging so beautiful and intense!

Karen McCandless Buck
Just saw Oedipus el Rey. What a fabulous production! The acting was great, as was the staging & costumes. Hats off to director, Elizabeth Huffman for such an imaginative production. ¡Bravo a todos!



Gangs and the Myth of Fate - Join the Conversation!
Sponsored by Oregon Humanities following each Sunday matinee of Luis Alfaro's play Oedipus el Rey at el Centro Milagro. This conversation program is FREE and open to the public!

Sunday, May 6, 4:15pm - Exploring the Myth of Fate
In the Culture and drama of ancient Greece, playwright Luis Alfaro found resonanace for the modern cycle of gang involvement. What beliefs about fate did the ancient Greeks hold as truth? What parallels did playwright Luis Alfaro draw between the Oedipus story and modern gang life?
Panelists include: Elizabeth Huffman, director, Oedipus el Rey; Dr. Richard Wattenberg, Professor of Theatre, PSU; and other invited guests.


Sunday, May 13, 4:15pm - The Lure of Gangs
In Oedipus el Rey, young men seek power within the only society in which they thrive. With power earned by earned by violence and ruthlessness comes the respect and financial gain they cannot achieve elsewhere. What "romantic" notions draw young people to gang life? What strategies keep youth from getting involved?

Panelists include: Elena García Velasco, Portland's Teacher of the Year, Roosevelt High School; Angel Ocasio, Portland Police officer; Carlos J. Crespo, PSU, Community Health & Public affairs; and other invited guests.

Sunday, May 20, 4:15pm - A Gangster's Destiny
Laius, the king, passes down the legacy of gang culture to his son in Oedipus el Rey, further nurtured by the friends and family. These seems to be no support or guidance for seeking a lifestyle other than this one. How does gang life affect a young person's perceptions of themselves and society? What are the most recent schools of thought around intervention?
Panelists include: Ron Macias, Youth Gangs Outreach Specialist; Tori Lopez, Juvenile Court Counselor at Multnomah County Dept. of Community Justice; Antoinette Edwards, Director of the Public Safety & Peacekeeping / Mayor’s Office; and other invited guests.

May 4 to 26, 2012
This play, which is presented in English with some Spanish, contains strong language and adult situations.

Sponsored by

Josie Mendoza &
Hugh Mackworth

Conversation Series:
Gangs and the Myth of Fate

Sponsored by


CAST
Nick Ortega… Oedipus
*Olga Sanchez … Jocasta
Marco Antonio Garcia Ballaré … Laius
Ozvaldo González … Creon
José E. González … Tiresius
Anthony Green … Coro (Chorus)
Rick Huddle … Coro (Chorus)
Enrique E. Andrade … Coro (Chorus)

* Member, Actors Equity Association
                       
PRODUCTION TEAM
Luis Alfaro … Playwright
Elizabeth Huffman … Director/Costume Designer
José E. González … Scenic Designer
Kristeen Crosser … Lighting Designer
Sharath Patel … Sound Designer
Kenichi Hillis … Prop Master
Valerie Ditchfield … Costume Assistant
Kristen Mun … Fight Choreographer
Mark Loring .. Scenic Painter
David Hermosillo and Jason Sipe … Tattoo Artist
Estela Robinson … Production Manager
Andrew Phoenix … Technical Director
Caitlin Nolan … Stage Manager
Autumn Dobbins … Carpenter
Sylvia Malán, Rory Stitt, Tricia Castañeda-González and Adrienne Shelnutt … House Managers
Chazaq Pinto … Art Card Design

 

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Miracle Theatre Group