Associate artistic director Luis Alfaro announces departure from Center Theatre Group

A man in a green shirt, with glasses pushed up on his forehead, poses for a photo outside at the Music Center.
Playwright Luis Alfaro announced his resignation as associate artistic director of Center Theatre Group.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Luis Alfaro announced his resignation as associate artistic director at Center Theatre Group on Facebook Nov. 2.

In his social media announcement, Alfaro shared the letter he sent to CTG staff several weeks prior. In the letter, he called on the theater institution to push forward with change.

For the record:

6:30 p.m. Nov. 2, 2022Luis Alfaro became associate artistic director of CTG in July 2021, not late 2021.

“We have a long way to go in our pandemic recovery AND in our commitment to equity and diversity,” he wrote in his post. “A training does not make change, change makes change. Making art is making tension, so keep pushing against all that we know needs shifting.”

Alfaro has been CTG’s associate artistic director since July 2021, arriving a few months before artistic director Michael Ritchie’s retirement at the end of that year. Alfaro’s last day with the institution was Nov. 1.


Alfaro wrote that if he didn’t leave now, he would have remained with CTG for 10 years. “I don’t always know where I am going next, as is the case here, but I do know when to move on,” he wrote.

“Luis is one of the busiest artists in the business and we were so fortunate to have him as one of our artistic leaders for the past year and a half as we’ve navigated this particularly challenging time reimagining our theatre and artist programs after the pandemic,” Meghan Pressman, managing director and chief executive of CTG, said in a statement to The Times. “He’s been a member of the Center Theatre Group family for years, and it is my belief that this isn’t our last crossroads. While I’m sad for Center Theatre Group, I’m inspired by Luis’ decision to focus his energies more fully on his writing and teaching for his next chapter — what we all really need right now are great artists and mentors to help lead the way forward.”

Playwright Luis Alfaro, newly appointed associate artistic director of Center Theatre Group, has a powerful vision for the theater.

Aug. 25, 2021

In the letter, Alfaro said he believes there is a better place to utilize his gifts. He also reminisced about the company’s accomplishments during his brief time in the position.

“There is lots to be proud of, including midwifing ten new plays by women playwrights from Los Angeles, into the American theatre through our Writers Workshop,” he wrote. “To be with these playwrights every other Saturday for over a year, (we are still meeting!) digging into idea 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 Theatre Initiative with Diane Rodriguez for 10 years and also led New Play Development.

When his role as associate artistic director was first announced in 2021, Alfaro told The Times that he dreamt about CTG representing the diversity of his native city. His resignation letter points to a few productions he considers successes in this regard: opening the Kirk Douglas following a two-year pandemic shutdown with “Alma,” a play written by Whittier-raised Benjamin Benne, and a season of works by all women and nonbinary artists.


Alfaro expressed concerns about inclusivity when he took on the role, saying, “The architecture [of the company] itself, has to be shifted in order to reflect the city.”

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

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

Alfaro did not respond to a request from the Times for comment.