Intersection for the Arts and California Shakespeare Theater
Alleluia, The Road
with Campo Santo, written by Luis Alfaro
November 1 – November 17 | 8PM | THU-SUN
MacArthur Genius award-winner and writer in residence at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival at Ashland, Luis Alfaro has been developing this piece with Campo Santo in mind over the past several years. Join us for this thrilling experience as Intersection for the Arts, Campo Santo and California Shakespeare Theater present the world premiere of Alleluia, the Road written by one of our country’s most exciting and moving voices- Luis Alfaro. For the past several years the three organizations have been developing and learning new ways to develop and create new work with our communities. This play hightlights the Califas Festival and is the third piece in a series of productions that have included Campo Santo’s world premiere production of The River by Richard Montoya and California Shakespeare Theater season opening production of American Night also by Montoya.
Luis Alfaro, was inspired by August Strindberg’s last play The Great Highway, in which the lead character, the hunter, confronts his multiplicity of self through others whom he encounters alongside his voyage. It was a brilliant and complex play, that came out of what critics would later call a “mad man’s brain”. Alfaro is lauded for his distinct ability to create freedom from the framework of Greek classics (Medea, as Alfaro’s Bruja and Mojada, Oedipus as Oedipus El Rey, Electra as Electricidad) and brings the same epic qualities to a contemporary existential storyline. Alleluia, The Road is a vision quest, as is The Califas Project in many ways. We have traveled up and down and sideways on the Highway 99 corridor and from San Diego, to East LA, San Marcos, Fowler, San Juan Bautista and Fresno, to the immediate 5M neighborhood in search of home.
Set in churches, diners, and fields across the state, the play finds Isaac fleeing his current life, re-living his Pentecostal preacher childhood, exploring his migrant roots, and examining his family connections as he traverses California along its primary trade route, Highway 99, pursued by his mother. Audiences experience existential battles with past and present, spirit and salvation through both Isaac and his mother’s eyes and through Isaac’s encounters with his brother, his ex-wife, and the Devil.
“Alfaro manages to write a play that lets struggle of spirituality and sinfulness feels so very real not just religious,” says Sean San José, (Juan José in Richard Montoya’s American Night, the Ballad of Juan José and Director of Montoya’s The River) performer and co-founder of esteemed multi-cultural theatre company Campo Santo. “It is all our families somehow- especially those who have found this state through the immigrant and migrant paths to the fields and harvesting of the central valley. This kind of uniquely specific and unbelievably sensorial creation of California's great highway 99- makes this another gut punching, graceful amidst grit, musicality of migration in the stunning body of work of Luis Alfaro."
Directed by renown Cal Shakes Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone, Alleluia, The Road reunites Moscone with Campo Santo for the third 2013 production of the Califas project. Alleluia, The Road features a cast of diverse Bay Area actors rooted in Campo Santo Familia members -- many of whom have been along for the entire Califas journey. The Alleluia, The Road cast also includes Campo Santo company member and Cal Shakes Associate Artist Catherine Castellanos (Caliban in Cal Shakes The Tempest), with fellow Campo Santo company members Brian Rivera (Juan José the First, Bob Dylan in American Night; Luis in The River), Maria Candelaria ("Fuku Americanus" from Junot Diaz's novel "Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao"), Nora el Samahy, and Donald E. Lacy, Jr. (Sally Ranger and Brother Ballard, respectively, in The River).
“With Califas, we have imagined ways of telling stories that go beyond theaters. Add an energized set of community partners up and down the Highway 99 corridor creating art that in response to the Califas themes to the mix, and we’re really redefining performance, opening up the concept of theater.
The Califas Festival
October 2-November 17, 2013
on the 5M Campus and around the state of California
Info: www.theintersection.org | www.calshakes.org
Intersection for the Arts and the California Shakespeare Theater come together this fall to co-produce the Califas Festival, a six week-long immersive, story-filled play yard of music, visual art, performance, and more in and around Intersection’s headquarters at 5M (5th and Mission) in San Francisco. The Festival is the culminating event of the Califas Project, a year of multimedia creative exploration in communities around the state including productions of Richard Montoya’s The River at Campo Santo this past March, and American Night at Cal Shakes in June. The Festival will feature a new performance piece with text by renowned California playwright Luis Alfaro, commissioned songs from seven California jazz greats including Howard Wiley and Terrence Brewer, visual art from Joan Osato, Andrea Blum, Mia Nakano and others, as well as a myriad of community voices.
Working together through their research and development wing The Triangle Lab, Cal Shakes and Intersection continue to cross boundaries in their art-making, asking what kind of change can happen when an arts event features a letter from a Dream-act youth next to portraits of and by women living in SOMA SRO’s next to the work of Macarthur-award winning Luis Alfaro, next to a crowd-sourced playlist of California songs. This is the Califas Festival: a place to discover how our journeys – individual and shared – can help us dream the future of our state.