A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

Mt. SAC’s play “Mojada” showcases how art and activism are intertwined

Mojada+illustration+created+for+SAC+Media
Anthony Solorzano
“Mojada” illustration created for SAC Media

In the wake of expressing her support for the Palestinian people after the conflict with Israel began, actress Melissa Barrera was dismissed. “Silence is not an option for me,” Barrera said after the news broke.
Since the beginning of the current Israeli bombing campaigns in Gaza, Hollywood has entered a “neo-McCarthyism” era. Instead of blackballing communist sympathizers, studios are relieving people from their duties for voicing out their support for Palestine. Art’s entanglement with politics continues to marginalize Hollywood’s minority. According to Forbes, Latinx actors only make up only 2.6% of lead actors.
The masses currently hold court for public figures in real-time. Society has become driven by reaction rather than giving certain circumstances time to reflect, people want to crucify public figures out loud for not agreeing with certain beliefs. Mt. SAC’s theatrical production of Luis Alfaro’s “Mojada” displays how tight the knot between the arts and political activism is.
Mt. SAC professor and director of “Mojada” Miguel Torres Cruz reflected on how art can be used for political activism. “… Artists, journalists were actively being silenced,” Cruz said. “I think ultimately, art is a place where truths are spoken. I think I personally feel I have a responsibility as an artist to tell the truth, through my perspective, my truth. But if we’re talking about truth, we’re talking about the human experience.”
In Alfaro’s “Mojada,” the author adapts the Greek tragedy of Madea into a contemporary environment. The play follows Medea and Jason as they escape a horrific life south of the border seeking the American dream. Alfaro’s retelling blends Euripides’ classic with Mexican folklore as it examines the tragedy behind America’s immigration system.
Rather than approaching activism like Barrera, Cruz allows his work to reflect his own beliefs. “The play is about sacrifices that an immigrant has to make when they’re chasing the American dream and inspiration that comes from my own life,” Cruz said. “I’m an immigrant and I crossed the border when I was very young. So, a lot of the imagery, and events that this character goes through are things that I’ve personally lived through.”
There is no right answer to handling personal beliefs when you have the attention of the masses. As long as you are ready to handle the fire that it might come with, Cruz thinks you should voice your opinion.
For Sherrie Sanders, the lead actress in Cruz’s “Mojada,” activism is in everything that she does. “Activism is everything because of my identity as a multi-racial queer woman,” Sanders said. “My whole life is activism; I can’t not fight.”
For Sanders, Barrera’s experience motivates her to speak on behalf of marginalized communities, “There’s power in numbers. If we are all screaming, they can’t quiet us all.”
Sanders and Cruz hope the play ignites thoughtful conversations amongst the audience.
They hope the conversation about the immigration experience lingers long enough to have an attentive conversation.
“I really want the audience to just think,” Sanders said. “… It doesn’t matter what you think, just think about it.”
“Mojada” plays at the Mt. SAC Studio Theater from December 7-10. General tickets are $16 while student tickets are $12 and can be purchased by following this link.

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