( 1939- )
Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she attended the University School. Her BA is from Radcliffe College and her MA in English is from the University of California-Berkeley. Although she has lived in California and Nova Scotia, most of her adult life has been spent in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she currently resides with her husband, Gustavo Alfaro, and her two children.
Alfaro began her writing career in the mid-1970s with short stories, but by 1980 she had switched to plays. While she continues to publish short stories and poems, her creative output in the past fifteen years has focused on drama.
In 1992 Alfaro wrote, narrated, and coproduced a thirty-minute documentary, Japanese American Women: A Sense of Place, which was part of the Smithsonian Institution's traveling exhibition, "Strength and Diversity, Japanese American Women 1885-1990." Directed by Leita Hagemann, the film is distributed by Women Make Movies. Alfaro's short stories and poems are available in various literary publications.
Rosanna Alfaro's plays explore the full range of dramatic genres and cultural themes. Behind Enemy Lines traces the disintegration of a Japanese American family as it moves from an assembly center to a relocation camp during World War II. Going to Seed concerns a Japanese American professor who is coming up for tenure during the Vietnam War. The one-act Dimsumzoo is a dark comedy about two friends discussing shared lovers over dim sum.
Alfaro's theatrically compelling Mishima traces the events leading to the su-