The Cherrie's Play "The Hungry Woman": Summary, History & Analysis

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1498 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Jan 8, 2020

Words: 1498|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Jan 8, 2020

Table of contents

  1. Background information
  2. Performer
  3. Stage (Time)
  4. Audience

Background information

Cherrie Moraga is a Chicanx writer, feminist activist, pose, essayist, and playwright. She, too, wrote about the struggles of lesbianism and Chicanx experiences in the United States. As a woman of color, she defied the systematic interpretations of genius through her plays and created characters with powerful personalities with a goal to bring visibility to real life experiences of Chicanx.

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The Hungry Woman was written by Cherrie in 1951. The play s written in a Chicano style in which is incorporated with both languages English and Spanish (Spanglish). The play was commissioned by Berkeley repertory theatre where it received a stage reading on April 10, 1995. It was directed by Tony Kelly. Since the play become so popular, later it was produced in many different places like for example; on December 2, 1995 the play was produced in Los Angeles CA as part of the Mark Taper Forum’s New work Festival, and it was directed by Lisa wolpe. On may 21, 1999, the play was directed by Richard E. T. White as part of A Contemporary Theatre/Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat Women’s Playwright Festival in Seattle. They play was most popular in America (Mexican teatro) for a Spanish and Spanglish speaking people.


The hungry woman is composed with the total of eight characters in which the writer specified that all her characters needed to be played by woman in exception of Medea’s son. The play itself is composed of 4 main characters whom portraits the whole story to the audience. The main characters are: Medea, a midwife and curandera in her mid-forties, Luna, Medea’s lover of seven years; stone mason and clay sculptor, late thirties. Chac-Mool, Medea’s thirteen-years-old son and Mama Sal, Medea’s aging grandmother, late seventies. There are also another four characters who also played other roles in the play. Savannah, Luna’s girlfriend, Nurse, Medea’s aging caretaker in the psychiatric hospital, Jason, Medea’s husband and Chac-Mool’s father, and the border guard also plays the prison guard and the Tattoo artist. All these characters also form part of the chorus of four warrior women who according to Aztec myth, have died in childbirth.

Stage (Time)

The play is breakdown into two main acts and each act contains its own scenes. Act one, contains the total of ten scenes. The represented locations that act one takes place are; a hospital (patient room), an interrogation room, a game room, a building in the city , a small urban garden, a laundry room of their apartment building, and a local bar. In this act, there were also special locations in which the story took place. For example; the altar of Coatlicue, the Aztec goddess of creation and destruction, and Luna and ChaC-Mool appears in Medea’s memory sitting on a slab of stone. act two has the total of nine scenes and one epilogue. the locations for act two are similar as the previous act except there were a few extra location that did not showed up in the first act. The locations for act two were; the hospital, the apartment building, the border, the interrogation room, a kitchen, a living room, the recovery room, and the small corn field. There are special occasion in which Medea has flashback of her roots and suddenly the stage transforms into the years of the Aztecs.


The purpose of the show is for the audience to relate to Medea’s torment over her custody battle to keep her son, who is asserting his desire to become a man. The play also resembles to the audience the world of betrayal, jealousy and love and lust in which the main character tries to explains to the audience all the struggles and conflict that a single mom goes through every single day in order to keep her son. All the performances in the play were so powerful that the audience members developed an emotional attachment to the characters. The play also appropriately elicited gasps, shouts and laughter from the audience that reflected the emotional turmoil of Medea. since the show is too long, the audience will be seated during the show, but they will be having an intermission for the other half of the show. The audience will have the chance to stretch out and get some fresh air before the second part of the show would start.

In the hungry woman, the are many disruptions in which it let the audience to know the transition from one location to another location. The stasis of the play begins with the story of the Aztecs where the Aztecs offers sacrifices and rituals to their god. the play starts like this because it gives the audience a little story of the Chicano culture, so the audience will get an idea of what the play is going to be about. Through out the story, instead of the audience to read the direction of each transition, a particular character always disrupts a scene to let the audience know what is happening and what is going to happen next. The character gives the sign to the audience of the end and the beginning of each cue.

Throughout the play there are also scenarios of the Aztecs recreating everything that is happening with Medea’s life in their own representation. Describe the characters in terms of their actions! What do they do, their deeds define them in drama. The main character Medea is bisexual and feminine. She is Jason’s ex-wife and the lover of Luna. She is also a former revolutionary woman who was force into exile and also the mother of his only son Cha-Mool. Jason is Medea’s ex-husband, a biracial man who lives in Aztlan and abandoned Medea and his son for an important position that was offered to him in Aztlan. He wants Medea to sign the divorce papers, so he could get marry to an apache virgin woman. Chac-Mool is Medea’s son Although she preferred a girl instead of a boy. In the play he is very rebellious and trusting. He wanted to go live with his father in Aztlan and wanted to become a real man like his father.

Later in the play he becomes a ghost and appears to his mother when she decided to kill herself. The real name of the boy is Adolfo, but her mother named him Chac-Mool after a Toltec messenger. Luna is a lesbian woman who in the play is Medea’s girlfriend and also became to be the men of her best friend savanna. She taught Cha-Mool many things about life and also about history and heritage, and she also taught him how to plant corn. Mama Sal is a grandmother who is a lesbian. In the play she is described as the king cynic who, despite her love for her grand-son Cha-Mool and Medea. she helps Luna to broke up with Medea. Chihuateo are the four warriors who had died in childbirth. These characters also played other important roles in the play. These four warriors are also the chorus in the play. What happens that makes something else happen?

What is the synopsis of the domino of events in the play? In the play, Medea received a letter from her ex-husband Jason. In the letter, Jason said that he would come back to Medea to claim the custody of his son. The letter alternated her emotions that made her to come up with an insane plan. Since the appearance of the letter everything changed in Medea’s life, her son betrays her mother for his father, her girlfriend Luna run away from her life with another woman, and everything that she fought for was destroyed. What appears to be the climax? The climax in the hungry woman happened when Medea saw Luna talking with savanna in the laundry. She got really mad and jealous seen Luna talking with savanna. Later, Medea and Luna were arguing about their relationship and later they ended up broking up. Luna moved away from Medea’s life because she was tired of all her craziness. Another big argument in the play was when Jason came to Medea’s house and talk about their son’s custody. How does the play resolve in language? In image? I order to resolve the issue, Medea decided to kill her own son in order to prevent him from going into Aztlan.

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At the end of the play, Medea regret killing her son and she was suffering a lot, so to put an end to her torment, she decided to put an end with her life. Later in the play, Medea killed herself the same way she did with her son. She was having an illusion of her son coming to her and giving her the drink of herbs that she gave him. What are possible themes? What evidence supports your conclusions regarding themes? How do these themes find fulfilment in performance as opposed to in the script? The theme of the play is incorporated with ancient Aztecs setup. Throughout the play, we will see characters dressed as (dansantes) Aztecs dancers with feathers and colorful costumes. There are also characters dressed as mystic beasts. For example, in act 1 scene 1, starts when “the light slowly rises on the altar to coatlicue, the Aztec goddess of creation and destruction, an awesome statuesque decapitated figure. She was wearing a serpent skirt; her breast shield is splayed with dismembered hands and hearts.”

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

The Cherrie’s Play “The Hungry Woman”: Summary, History & Analysis. (2022, February 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“The Cherrie’s Play “The Hungry Woman”: Summary, History & Analysis.” GradesFixer, 14 Feb. 2022,
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The Cherrie’s Play “The Hungry Woman”: Summary, History & Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Feb 14 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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