Judge Torres

Marissa Sanchez, left, plays the title role in "Judge Torres." The Teatro Milagro production has scheduled a free performance Tuesday at Oregon State University. 

The Teatro Milagro production of "Judge Torres," which weaves magical realism and Mayan folktales to help tell the real-life story of Oregon judge Xiomara Torres, will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 in the Memorial Union Ballroom on the Oregon State University campus. The performance is free. 

The play, written by Milta Ortiz, traces the life story of Torres, who was appointed to Multnomah County Circuit Court by Gov. Kate Brown in 2017 and is one of a small number of Latina judges in Oregon.

Torres was born in El Salvador. In 1980, when she was 9, she crossed a river with her family, led by a “coyote,” who brought them to their new lives in America.

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When she was 13, she and her siblings were separated and placed in foster care. In the play, La Siguanaba, a mythical being from Salvadoran legends, guides her, providing strength and wisdom to light the way, and Jan, her court-appointed advocate, pulls her up when the challenges become too overwhelming. 

The performance features Marissa Sanchez as Torres and Ajai Terrazas Tripathi, a familiar face to mid-valley theater audiences, as La Siguanaba.

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