Profile picture for user lalfaro
Luis Alfaro

Luis Alfaro is a renowned Chicano performance artist, writer, theater director, and social activist. His plays and fiction are set in Los Angeles's Chicano barrios, including the Pico Union district, and often feature gay and lesbian and working-class themes. Many of Alfaro's plays also deal with the AIDS pandemic in Latino communities. Noted plays include Bitter Homes and Gardens, Pico Union, Downtown,Cuerpo Politizado,Straight as a LineBreakfast, Lunch & DinnerNo Holds Barrio and Black Butterfly. Many of these plays have also been published as stories or poetry.

Alfaro has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the MacArthur "Genius" Foundation Fellowship in 1997, and the 1988 National Hispanic Playwriting Competition Prize. His writing, both sole-authored and collaborative, is collected in numerous anthologies. In 1994 his spoken-word CD, Downtown was released. His short film Chicanismo was produced by the PBS and released in 1999. He also contributed to the 1995 film Pochonovela, a collaboration between the Cuban American performer Coco Fusco and the LA-based Chicano performance ensemble, Chicano Secret Service. This mock telenovela explores and sends up Chicano activism and assimilation in a sardonic exploration of working class barrio life. In 2010, his play Oedipus El Rey, a Chicano retelling of Oedipus Rex, had its world premiere at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco.

four actors onstage
"We’ve Got to Protect Our Art"
Essay

"We’ve Got to Protect Our Art"

Celebrating the Artistic Journeys of Two Latino Playwrights

18 September 2019

Luis Alfaro and Herbert Sigüenza talk about their experience in the National Playwright Residency Program, learning about the inner workings of theatre companies, portraying Latinx people in a positive light, the importance of comedy, and more.

Why Luis Alfaro, Why Oregon Shakespeare Festival?
Essay

Why Luis Alfaro, Why Oregon Shakespeare Festival?

15 March 2016

Bill Rauch and Luis Alfaro talk about their connection to each other's work and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

MELT. DOWN.
Essay

MELT. DOWN.

25 November 2015

Playwright Luis Alfaro on mental health, his playwriting process, and Vicodin.

Carnaval 2015
Essay

Carnaval 2015

Day 3

26 July 2015

Luis Alfaro reports on the third day of Carnaval, and shares the note the community ended on—commitment and movement. 

Latinx Theatre Commons' logo.
A Borderless Future
Essay

A Borderless Future

20 July 2014

In this first installment, Luis Alfaro reflects on his experience at the 2014 TCG National Conference: Crossing Borders.