Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Healing Through Storytelling

Photo credit: Craig Schwartz

When St. Jude comes to South Coast Repertory, Luis Alfaro will confront his father's terminal illness and begin a journey towards healing. St. Jude is in the Nicholas Studio for performances Feb. 13-16 as part of Studio SCR.

Alfaro's one-man show finds him bearing his soul, conjuring memories starting from his youth and ending with his family dealing with his father’s final illness. In St. Jude, he takes the audience on a journey retelling major events of his life as a hand drawn map of Highway 99 is being projected from an old-school overhead projector.

This past fall, Alfaro talked extensively about the play with LA Weekly. He calls this a journey he "paid for" with his heart. During his final two years, Alfaro's father endured multiple blood draws a day, every three hours. In St. Jude, Alfaro memorializes that when he pricks his own finger during the course of St. Jude to add a drop of blood on the map, next to the name of cities in which he spent time; he does this 10 times throughout the show.

Performing St. Jude has helped Alfaro come to terms with the death of his father and hopes with St. Jude “we can talk about it and not be afraid of it.” Alfaro's own Facebook posts created the core of St. Jude. “This piece is really about relationships and who I was and what I am now, with the loss of my father,” Alfaro says in an interview with LA Stage Times.

Ultimately, St. Jude is an homage to Alfaro’s father, filled with laughter as he finds humor throughout his journey and celebrates life and family. Alfaro stays sincere and intimate with audiences, even engaging them with church songs. L.A. Reviews Online called Alfaro “gifted with a beautiful singing voice.”

Alfaro performs St. Jude in four shows, Feb. 13-16; Thursday at 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

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