OSF to Present Luis Alfaro's ST. JUDE, 9/11

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OSF to Present Luis Alfaro's ST. JUDE, 9/11

Luis Alfaro, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright-in-Residence, will perform his autobiographical play St. Jude on September 11 at 8 p.m. in the Thomas Theatre as part of the Festival's four-day CultureFest celebration. The production is the final OSF Presents production of the season.

Tickets are $20 for OSF members and $18 for non-members and may be purchased online or by calling the Box Office at 800-219-8161.

In St. Jude, Highway 99 becomes an emotionally charged memory lane for Mr. Alfaro when his father has a stroke, compelling him to revisit the Central Valley of his childhood. As the family gathers around the ailing patriarch, the playwright conjures up memories of his youth-complete with an old-school slide show-from picking grapes to gospel-infused tent revivals family holidays to running away from home at 16. St. Jude is-in Alfaro's words-"going from 'what I am' to 'who I was." It's a remarkable journey rich with laughter, pathos and surprising revelations.

"Luis Alfaro has been a brilliant creative partner since OSF's 2008 production of Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner," said OSF Associate Producer Claudia Alick. "That year at the end of our Festival Latino we had the pleasure of presenting Luis' solo performance for an intimate group of artists and friends at midnight. It was hilarious, beautiful, moving, and brilliant. We are so excited to be able to share this part of his work with our full audience."

Paired with a 6:45 p.m. Green Show by OSF Ensemble-in-Residence UNIVERSES, this one-night OSF Presents performance helps kick off CultureFest 2014, a celebration of multiethnic heritage and the diverse work on the Festival's stages that will take place September 11-14. Held every other year, among CultureFest's 2014 offerings are play readings and discussions, multicultural Green Shows and Spanish open-captioned performances of three plays. Learn more from the CultureFest press release.

Mr. Alfaro is a critically-acclaimed writer/performer who has been working in theater, performance art, poetry and journalism since 1982. A multi-disciplined artist, he also works as a director, educator, curator, producer and community organizer. A Chicano born and raised in downtown Los Angeles, Mr. Alfaro 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 is the only playwright to receive two Kennedy Center Fund for New American Play awards in the same year (2002), and is the 2012 Joyce Foundation Award Fellow. He is now serving as OSF's first Resident Playwright as part of a three-year residency made possible by a $303,000 grant from the Performing Arts Program at The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is penning a three-play cycle, currently titled This Golden State, about a Latino family in the United States under a co-commission by OSF and Magic Theatre in San Francisco.

In its third year, OSF Presents is a program designed to give Oregon Shakespeare Festival artists an arena to share their art with the public on a larger scale than they may be able to do independently. The artists are a mix of company members and Green Show guest artists and playwrights. Proceeds from the shows are shared by the artists and OSF. This program is funded in part by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.

Photo by Jenny Graham

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