INTERVIEW WITH EFREN DELGADILLO JR
︎Watch the recording of our discussion with Efren Delgadillo JR HERE︎
A Mexican-American Scenic Designer born and raised in East Los Angeles, Efren Delgadillo Jr. is thrilled to join UC Irvine’s Department of Drama. Trained in Studio Arts at UCI, his love of architecture, materials, shapes and performance drew him to scenic design. Efren has worked as a designer across the U.S. as well as in Europe. Notable productions in New York include The Three Musketeers (The Acting Company); Mycenaean (BAM,Brooklyn Academy of Music); Open House (Foundry Theatre); and One thing I like to Say (Clubbed Thumb). Notable Regional theatre productions include American Mariachi (South Coast Rep.),(Arizona Theatre Company) Romeo and Juliet (Oregon Shakespeare Company); BLKS (Woolly Mammoth); Kings (South Coast Rep.); Bordertown Now (Pasadena Playhouse); Smart People and Indecent (Denver Center for the Performing Arts); Othello (Hartford Stage); DJ Latinidad (Mixed Blood Theatre); Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (The Getty Villa/Boston Court); Prometheus Bound (The Getty Villa/Center for New Performance); Shelter (Center for New Performance); The Sweetheart Deal (Los Angeles Theatre Center). His international work includes Laude in Urbis with Compagnia di Colombari in Orvieto, Italy, and Flamingo/Winnebago in Novi Sad, Serbia.
Throughout his collaborative career he has had the incredible honor of working with directors and artists including Nataki Garrett, Christopher Acebo, Dámaso Rodríguez, Diane Rodriguez, Jessica Kubzansky, Karin Coonrod, Melanie Joseph, Casey Biggs, Mark Valdez, Michael Michetti, Alex Torra, Jesse Bonnell, Travis Preston, Culture Clash, Thaddeus Phillips and Carl Hancock Rux. In New York, Efren has also worked with artists Ivo Van Hove, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jo Bonney and JoAnne Akalaitis during his years as a technical director for New York Theatre Workshop.
As a company member and designer with Poor Dog Group, a contemporary performance collective based in Los Angeles, California, his designs with Poor Dog Group include Brewsie and Willie, Satyr Atlas, Dionysia, The Internationalist, Murder Ballad, Five Small Fires and Group Therapy. With SINTROCA, an image and performance based theatre company of which Efren is a co-founder, he brought projects to Edinburgh, Scotland, Montreal, Canada, New York and Los Angeles. SINTROCA productions include Moonshine and Peepshow at the Edinburgh Theatre Festival and Lasanta at Richard Foreman’s Ontological Hysteric Theatre in New York.
A recipient of LA weekly awards for both Production Design and Lighting design for Poor Dog Group’s Brewsie and Willie, Efren has also been nominated for an Ovation Award in Best Scenic Design for Culture Clash’s Bordertown Now as well as a Barrymore Award in Outstanding Scenic Design for Bienvenidos Blancos with Team Sunshine Corporation.
Efren earned an MFA in Scenic Design from California Institute of the Arts and a BFA in Studio Arts from University of California, Irvine. Previously he has lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY, Montreal, Quebec, and Los Angeles, CA. Prior to his time teaching at UCI, he was a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Cal State Northridge and adjunct faculty at California Institute of the Arts.
Efren’s teaching style provides an inspirational learning environment that exposes the student to the interdisciplinary and collaborative process of design with the goal of teaching imagination, innovation, principles and tradition. He strives to instill a life-long love of learning and curiosity by creating a guided space for exploration. His teaching philosophy posits that wrong turns on the path to success are not failures, they are just iterations. Iterations informed by passion become the pathway for visual catharsis in the art of storytelling.