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Steven Wounded Deer Alvarez

Storyteller / Musician / Vocalist / Stage Actor

Steven’s personal and professional history enables him to bring a unique perspective to the stage. Steven (Mescalero Apache/Yaqui/Upper Tanana Athabascan) was raised in a multi-ethnic military family while growing up within many diverse cultures including Hispanic, Native American, Hawaiian and Japanese. He holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Education (Voice and Percussion) and History, with a minor in Philosophy, from San Jose State University.

An artist with vast experience in many mediums, he works professionally as a percussionist, vocalist, stage actor, film and stage producer, and music educator. Working professionally as a musician since age 16, Steven currently performs with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, the Anchorage Opera and Anchorage Concert Chorus, and recording artists Medicine Dream, Pamyua and Joy Harjo. He has toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Steven has appeared on stage in several musical and theater productions (most recently as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar), while musically directing over 30 productions. He also recently co-founded Theater Artists United, an extremely successful Anchorage-based Theater Company, where he is presently the Musical Director of Hair.


“Connections” is a Steven Alvarez production of three traditional stories about Native people reconnecting or staying connected with their culture. It is a one man theater piece fusing traditional and contemporary performance art.


Photography by Katherine Fogden

Each skillfully woven story ends with a contemporary song relating back to the story, and the accompaniment of that song is imbedded in beautiful films of still and moving images of contemporary and historic photos of Native elders and people who represent the wisdom and knowledge of the cultures.

The first story is about an eagle, rescued by a farmer, who had it raised by his chickens. The story represents Native people (the eagle) who are living in a foreign environment (western culture), who regain their heritage. Steven performs the song, “Take Me Home” by Phil Collins to close this story.

In the second story, a son who as he matures realizes he knows little of his culture goes to his father seeking knowledge of the ways of his people. Sadly, his father is sick and dying, and it’s too late. As his father becomes weaker, he repeats the words “take away my pain”, referring to the pain he feels of not being able to pass on the culture. The closing song is “Take Away My Pain” by Dream Theater.

The final, poignant story speaks of a young boy who moved through life so fast that he didn’t see it pass him by until all his relations were gone. Guided by an Elder from another village, he learns over many years to slow down and hear the voices of his people through the wind, the animals and the sounds of nature. “Remember Me,” composed by James Horner, is the last song.

As each story is told, Steven adorns himself with more of his regalia until at the very end he is fully dressed, symbolizing his own reconnection with his past.

Approximate time of this piece is 45 – 50 minutes.

 

 



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