"Alfaro may be the first, Sophocles included, to place the love of Oedipus and Jocasta squarely at the play's tragic center. More than that, he makes it resonate with a passion fully enhanced not only by the spare poetry of his text but also by Greco's intense staging and the naked vulnerability of two fully committed actors in the show that opened Wednesday."
— Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle
Set in South Central LA, Oedipus el Rey is a gritty and electrifying take on the Greek tragedy. Oedipus is reimagined as a troubled young man whose dreams of controlling his own destiny soar beyond the prison walls where he’s spent his life. But in a place where everyone is trapped—by desperation or fate, history or violence—no one man can change his story alone. Love, family and belief collide in this chilling, incredibly powerful play that asks: what’s fate, and what’s just the system?
Luis Alfaro is a Chicano writer/performer known for his work in poetry, theatre, short stories, performance and journalism. He is also a producer/director who spent ten 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 (Magic Theatre, Boston Court Theatre, upcoming at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company) Electricidad (Teatro Vision-San Jose, Mark Taper Forum-Los Angeles, Goodman Theater-Chicago, Borderlands Theatre-Tucson), Downtown (Institute of Contemporary Art-London, XTeresa Performance Space-Mexico City), No Holds Barrio (Goodman Theatre-Chicago), Body of Faith(Cornerstone Theater Company-Los Angeles), Straight as a Line (Primary Stages-NY, Edinburgh Festival-Scotland, Goodman Theatre-Chicago, The National Theatre of Romania [2 year run]) Bitter Homes and Gardens (Latino Chicago, Playwrights Arena-Los Angeles) Ladybird (La Jolla Playhouse) Black Butterfly(Smithsonian Museum, The Kennedy Center-Washington D.C., Mark Taper Forum-Los Angeles) Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner (Taper Too-Los Angeles, Teatro Vista-Chicago). He is the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship, popularly known as a "genius grant," awarded to people who have demonstrated expertise and exceptional creativity in their respective fields.
A Rockefeller Fellow and University of California Regents Chair Fellow, he is the only artist to have won two awards in the same year from The Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays. He is also the recipient of awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, Theatre Communications Group and PEN USA, among others. He is featured in over 25 anthologies, has an award-winning spoken word CD, and was nominated for a local Emmy Award for his short film, Chicanismo. He is a member of New Dramatists, an associate artist at Playwrights Arena and Cornerstone Theatre Company in Los Angeles. His play Electricidad was featured on the cover of American Theatre Magazine and the complete script was published in the February 2006 issue.
He teaches at the University of Southern California (Graduate Playwriting Program, Solo Performance, Youth Theater) and California Institute of the Arts (Solo Performance, Actors Studio).
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