Luis Alfaro announces departure from Center Theatre Group

Luis Alfaro announced his resignation as Assistant Artistic Director of the Center Theater Group on November 2 on Facebook.

In his social media announcement, Alfaro shared the letter he sent to CTG staff a few weeks earlier. In the letter, he urged the theater institution to drive change.

For the record:

6:30 p.m., November 2, 2022Luis Alfaro became Deputy Artistic Director of CTG in July 2021, not the end of 2021.

“We still have a long way to go in our recovery from the pandemic AND in our commitment to equity and diversity,” he wrote in his post. “Training doesn’t bring about change, change causes change. Making art creates excitement, so keep fighting what we know needs to change.”

Alfaro has been deputy artistic director of CTG since July 2021, arriving a few months ahead of artistic director Michael Ritchie’s retirement later in the year. Alfaro’s last day with the institution was November 1st.

Alfaro wrote that if he hadn’t left now, he would have stayed with CTG for 10 years. “I don’t always know where I’m going next like I do here, but I know when to move on,” he wrote.

“Luis is one of the busiest artists in the industry and we have been extremely fortunate to have him as one of our Artistic Directors for the past year and a half while we have navigated this particularly challenging time as we continue to expand our theater and artist programs of the pandemic,” Meghan Pressman, chief executive and chief executive officer of CTG, said in a statement to The Times. “He’s been a member of the Center Theater Group family for years and I’m confident this wasn’t our last crossroads. While I’m saddened for the Center Theater Group, I’m inspired by Luis’ decision to focus his energies more on his writing and teaching for his next chapter – what we all really need right now are great artists and mentors to help the to guide way forward.”

In the letter, Alfaro said he believes there is a better place to use his gifts. He also recalled the company’s accomplishments during his short tenure in that position.

“There is much to be proud of, including the midwifery of ten new plays by Los Angeles women playwrights into American theater through our Writers Workshop,” he wrote. “Being with these playwrights (we still meet!) every other Saturday for over a year to explore ideas and poetry is something I always want to do.”

Alfaro first worked as an usher at CTG, then as a performer. He ran the Latino Theater Initiative with Diane Rodriguez for 10 years and also ran New Play Development.

When his role as assistant artistic director was first announced in 2021, Alfaro told The Times he dreams of CTG representing the diversity of his hometown. His resignation letter points to a few productions he considers achievements in this regard: opening the Kirk Douglas after a two-year pandemic shutdown with “Alma,” a play written by Whittier-raised Benjamin Benne, and one season featuring works by all women and non-binary artists.

Alfaro expressed concerns about inclusivity when taking on the role, saying: “The architecture [of the company] itself, needs to be shifted to reflect the city.”

While his retirement comes abruptly in the middle of CTG’s 2022-23 season, Alfaro has said in the past that change is native to the theatre.

“I’ve always said with every job I’ve ever had that it could end tomorrow or in a year or whenever it ends,” he told The Times in 2021. “I agree with everything. I think it’s important to think about theater with that kind of fluidity because if you’re going to have a life in theater you have to be willing to accept how things move and change.”

Alfaro did not respond to a Times request for comment.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2022-11-02/luis-alfaro-announces-departure-from-center-theatre-group Luis Alfaro announces departure from Center Theatre Group

Sarah Ridley

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