Luis Alfaro (born in Los Angeles in 1963) 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 Line," "Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner," "No 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 Public broadcasting Service 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.
Alfaro, Luis. "Pico-Union," in Men on Men 4, edited by George Stambolian, Plume, New York, 1992, pp. 268–283.
Alfaro, Luis. Down Town, (CD), New Alliance Records, Lawndale, 1993.
Alfaro, Luis. "Cuerpo Politizado," in Uncontrollable Bodies: Testimonies of Art and Culture, edited by Rodney Sappington and Tyler Stallings, Bay Press, Seattle, 1994, pp. 216–241.
Alfaro, Luis. "Bitter Homes and Gardens," in His, edited by Robert Drake and Terry Wolverton, Faber and Faber, Boston, 1995, pp. 100–107.
Alfaro, Luis. "Straight as a Line," in Out of the Fringe: Contemporary Latina/Latino Theatre and Performance, edited by Caridad Svich and Maria Teresa Marrero, Theatre Communication Group, New York, 2000, pp. 1–42.
Allatson, Paul. "Siempre feliz en mi falda: Luis Alfaro’s Simulative Challenge,” in GLQ (A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies), vol. 5, no. 2, 1999, pp. 199–230.
Arrizón, Alicia. Queering Mestizaje: Transculturation and Performance, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 2006.
Foster, David William. “El cuerpo de Luís Alfaro: identidades sexuales y performance,” in Literatura e autoritarismo: estudos culturais, no. 1 (Janeiro 2003) .
Foster, David William. “The Representation of the Queer Body in Latin American Theater,” in Latin American Theatre Review, vol. 38, no. 1 (Fall 2004), pp. 23–38.
Foster, David William. El ambiente nuestro: Chicano/Latino Homoerotic Writing, Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe, Tempe, AZ, 2006.
Muñoz, José Esteban. "Luis Alfaro's Memory Theatre," in Corpus Delecti, edited by Coco Fusco, Routledge, New York and London, 1999.
Rodriguez y Gibson, Eliza. "Luis Alfaro," in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature, edited by Emmanuel S. Nelson. Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 2005. Vol. 1, pp. 131–132.
Román, David. "'Teatro Viva!' Latino Performance and the Politics of AIDS in Los Angeles," in ¿Entiendes? Queer Readings, Hispanic Writings, edited by Emilie L. Bergman and Paul Julian Smith (eds.), Duke University Press, Durham, 1995, pp. 346–369.
Román, David. “Luis Alfaro,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States, edited by Suzanne Oboler and Deena J. González, Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford, 2005. Vol. 1, pp. 57–59. He was also homosexual
- Román, David. "'Teatro Viva!' Latino Performance and the Politics of AIDS in Los Angeles," in ¿Entiendes? Queer Readings, Hispanic Writings, edited by Emilie L. Bergman and Paul Julian Smith (eds.), Duke University Press, Durham, 1995, pp. 346–69
- Allatson, Paul. "Siempre feliz en mi falda: Luis Alfaro’s Simulative Challenge,” in GLQ (A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies), vol. 5, no. 2, 1999, pp. 199–230.