Synopsis & Characters

In the near future of a fictional past, an ethnic civil war has balkanized the United States. A woman named Medea, her lover Luna, and her child Chac-Mool have been exiled to what remains of Phoenix, Arizona. After her ex-husband contacts her in the hopes of reuniting with their son, Medea must risk everything to protect her loved ones. But even then, her endeavors may not be enough. as cultural, societal, and sexual conflicts threaten to tear her family apart.


A curandera in her mid-forties, Medea is forced into exile because of her sexuality. She must raise her son Chac-Mool in a world that shuns her existence and protect him from both stranger and family.


Medea's thirteen year old son whose budding ambitions conflict with his mother's teachings. Rebellious yet trusting, his allegiances are caught in the center of both sides of the revolution.


Medea's ex-husband who still lives in Aztlán. Though he seeks to reconcile his relationship with Medea and his son Chac-Mool, his motives are not as innocent as they initially appear.


Luna is Medea's lover of seven years. A voice of simplicity and reason, she endeavors to fit into Medea's life despite the latter's inability to decide choosing between her and her son.

Scenes from Stanford University's 2005 production of The Hungry Woman at The Pigott Theater

Cherríe Moraga

Cherrie Moraga was born in 1952 in California to a Mexican mother and an English father. She was one of the few white girls in a community of Mexicans. As a child, she had an internal struggle to connect to her roots. Since she was lighter skinned, she was able to pass as white, and often received grief from her extended family as a result. She therefore was introduced to the idea of white privilege, as she had it better than many of her extended family. As a result of this, she was inspired to learn from this hardship, and from that came her prominent themes of family and heritage.



The Hungry Woman derives its plot from Euripides' Medea and the Mexican folk tale of La Llorona, which itself draws from mythological Aztec roots. The mixing of these mythologies, which share many key similarities, creates a story that blends the distinct aspects of both cultures.

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