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CÉSAR ALVAREZ (they/them/theirs) is a composer, lyricist, playwright, and performance maker. They create large experimental musicals as non-normative possibility spaces for embodiment, inter-dimensionality, socio-political transformation, kinship and coexistence. With a background as a jazz saxophonist, band leader and sound artist, César's work inhabits a space between the worlds of theater, music, performance art and social practice. César was a 2018-20 Princeton Arts Fellow, 2020-22 Hermitage Fellow, a recipient of The Jonathan Larson Award, The Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre for lyrics and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2022. César is currently under commissions from Playwrights Horizons and Denver Theater Center.
World Premiere: A.R.T/Walker Art Center
Off-Broadway: Soho Rep/Ars Nova
2016 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical
Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best New Musical
The Elementary Spacetime Show
Development: New York Stage & Film, Polyphone, FringeArts/UArts, NYU/Playwrights Horizons Theater School, Ensemble Studio Theater, Ars Nova
The Universe is a Small Hat
Development: Berkeley Rep Ground Floor, The Civilians R&D Group, Babycastles, PRELUDE, Sarah Lawrence College, Princeton University
Development: NYU/Playwrights Horizons Theater School, The Public Theater. Commission of The Public Theater and NYU/PHTS.
Commission of Barbara Whitman and Beth Williams
César also composed the music for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon (Soho Rep, TFANA. Drama Desk Nomination), The Foundry Theater's Good Person of Szechwan (LaMaMa, The Public Theater. Drama Desk Nomination) and released four albums with The Lisps. In 2015 César co-founded Polyphone, a festival of new and emerging musicals at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. They served as Artistic Director for five seasons.
César has developed work in residencies and workshops with Soho Rep, Ars Nova, New York Theater Workshop, The Public Theater, The Civilians, A.R.T., MassMoCA, HERE, Ensemble Studio Theater, Playwrights Horizons Theatre School/NYU, Sarah Lawrence College, The University of the Arts, Princeton University, Adelphi University, PRELUDE, Joe's Pub, Ucross/Sundance, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and The Vineyard Arts Project.