Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Alfaro Returns to SCR with "St. Jude"

Photo credit: Craig Schwartz

Luis Alfaro is a writer/performer known for his work in poetry, theatre, short stories, performance and journalism. He is also a producer/director who spent 10 years at the Mark Taper Forum as associate producer, director of new play development and co-director of the Latino Theatre Initiative.

His plays and performances include Oedipus El Rey, Electricidad, Downtown, No Holds Barrio, Body of Faith, Straight As A Line, Bitter Homes and Gardens, Black Butterfly and Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

He is currently a professor at University of Southern California's School of Dramatic Arts and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence.

St. Jude marks the return to South Coast Repertory of playwright, performer and activist Luis Alfaro to South Coast Repertory. He previously had a handful of his plays developed in our Hispanic Playwrights Project (1986-2004) including Bitter Homes and Gardens (1992), Straight as a Line (1994), California Scenarios (2001) and Electricidad (2002). He also directed the Pacific Playwrights Festival reading of Lupe, Now! by Jonathan Ceniceroz in 1999.

His one-man show, St. Jude will be presented as a part of SCR’s Studio SCR series, Feb. 13-16.

St. Jude is—in Alfaro’s words—“going from ‘what I am’ to ‘who I was.’” The play confronts the subjects of grief and loss, with Alfaro coming to terms with his father’s illness and then death. The narrative of St. Jude derives from essays Alfaro wrote while his father was receiving treatment at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, Calif. The play is an emotional journey that travels from Highway 99 to Alfaro’s hometown in the central valley of California. Every stop is a conjured memory from his youth with the journey ending at St. Jude Hospital. The journey is funny, tragic and surprising.

In addition to bringing St. Jude to SCR, Alfaro is also one of SCR’s commissioned playwrights a part of the CrossRoads Commissioning Project, a community-based initiative that has eight playwrights, creating new plays inspired by the artistic and cultural diversity of Orange County.

Praise for St. Jude
St. Jude captivated Los Angeles audiences during its world premiere last fall at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. The play—which was a part of the Radar L.A. Festival—also received acclaim for Alfaro's performance:

"One of the most powerful voices in Latino theatre"—Neon Tommy

“Genius…a must see”—pLAywriting in the city

“[A] touching autobiographical memoir centering on [Alfaro’s] care for his dying immigrant father.”—The Hollywood Reporter

“[Alfaro is] gifted with a strong stage voice and a beautiful singing voice… [his] delivery is never
slack…”—L.A. Reviews

“A gifted storyteller...[an] excellent solo show…catch it.”—Colin Mitchell, BitterLemons.com

St. Jude will be performed as a part of Studio SCR, Feb. 13-16, 2014. Get your tickets here.

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