Acclaimed LA Theatre artist Luis Alfaro and director Laurie Woolery will lead the artistic team for the West Coast Premiere of Tanya Saracho‘s El Nogalar, the next production opening at the Fountain in January. Woolery will direct the new play, Alfaro will serve as dramaturg.
Laurie Woolery is the Associate Artistic Director of Cornerstone Theatre in Los Angeles. Recently, Ms. Woolery directed The Language Archive by Julia Cho at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has also directed Amor Eterno – Six Lessons in Love (an anthology by six Latino playwrights) for the grand opening of the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, Bryan Davidson’s Reflecting Back at the Los Angeles Central Library as part of the National Tour of the American Originals exhibit and Richard Coca’s solo piece The Day I Flipped Off Jimmy Carter for SCR’s Hispanic Playwrights Project.
As a director, educator and actor, Laurie has worked at South Coast Repertory (former Director of the Theatre Conservatory), Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Inge Center for the Arts, Denver Center, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Ricardo Montalban Theatre, Deaf West Theatre, fofo Theatre, Highways Performance Space, A Noise Within, Bonderman, Sundance Playwrights Lab as well as the Sundance Children’s Theatre.
Luis Alfaro is a Chicano writer/performer/director 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.
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. 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 for his short film, Chicanismo.
His recent plays include Oedipus El Rey (Magic Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Theatre@BostonCourt) and Electricidad (Teatro Vision-San Jose, Mark Taper Forum-Los Angeles, Goodman Theatre-Chicago, Borderlands Theatre-Tuscon).
El Nogalar (The Pecan Orchard) by Tanya Saracho is inspired by Anton Chekhov’s classic The Cherry Orchard and charts a Mexican family’s experience as their way of life is threatened by encroaching drug cartels, violence and economic upheaval. Set in present-day Northern Mexico and infused with Spanish, Spanglish and Espanglés, it’s a comical and moving story about the choice between adapting to the changing world or being left behind.