Luis Alfaro is a Chicano playwright born and raised blocks from USC in the Pico-Union district of downtown Los Angeles.
Luis is the Associate Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group, the resident theatre company of the Music Center of Los Angeles County, home of the Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre and Kirk Douglas Theater.
Luis 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.
He has also received recognition from; the PEN America/Laura Pels International Foundation Theater Award for a Master Dramatist; United States Artist Fellowship; Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship; Joyce Foundation Fellowship; Mellon Foundation Fellowship, and the Annenberg Artist-in-Residence for the city of Santa Monica; among others. He is the only playwright to have received two Kennedy Center ‘Fund for New American Play’ awards in the same year.
Luis spent six seasons as the inaugural Playwright-in-Residence of the ninety-year-old Oregon Shakespeare Festival (2013-2019); a member of the Playwright’s Ensemble at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Theatre (2013-2020); a resident artist at the Mark Taper Forum (1995-2005); an inaugural member of the Latinx Playwrights ‘Circle of Imaginistas’ at the Los Angeles Theatre Center (2021). and has worked with the Ojai Playwrights Conference since 2002.
His plays and performances include Electricidad, Oedipus El Rey, Mojada, Delano, Body of Faith, Straight as a Line, and have been seen at regional theatres throughout the United States, Latin America, Canada and Europe.
Luis spent over two decades in the Los Angeles Poetry and Performance Art communities.
He is an Associate Professor with tenure at the University of Southern California (USC). Previously, he taught at California Institute of the Arts (Cal-Arts), and in the Writers Program at UCLA Extension.
He has an Emmy-nominated short film, Chicanismo (Best Experimental Film, San Antonio CineFestival, Best Short, CineAccion San Francisco) and an award-winning recording, down town, on SST/New Alliance Records (Best Spoken-Word Release, National Association of Independent Record Distributors).