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THEATER

The inspiration behind Oliver Mayer's 'Dias y Flores'

January 21, 2009|Rob Weinert-Kendt

But he left the Taper in 1997, and while he has kept up a steady output of plays, he has had only a handful of productions in New York, L.A. and at regional theaters since his splashy debut. He's found more of a welcome mat with such San Francisco companies as Thick Description, he said.

"I haven't gone away, but you're absolutely right, I haven't done a lot," Mayer said. "I'm not a Michael Sargent or a Justin Tanner. And the truth is, I'm not that represented in New York either, which saddens me slightly."

His colleague Alfaro is also a playwright, and the two teach playwriting at USC's School of Theatre. In the introduction to a collection of Mayer's plays published last year, Alfaro wrote, "the mark of a great playwright is in that period where no one is paying attention," and that Mayer has spent the years since "Blade" steadily following his muse and honing his voice. "I've seen him mature," Alfaro added, alluding to Mayer's "hothead days" at the Taper, when he was known to storm out of rooms. Everyone, including Mayer, credits marriage as a calming influence.

"I'll tell you, today a car passed me on the right, and even a few years ago, I would have chased him," Mayer confessed. "I have a real temper on me. But ever since I met Marlene, I'm actually able to breathe and say, 'I got you, so let them pass me on the right.' "

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calendar@latimes.com

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'Dias y Flores'

Where: Company of Angels Theatre at the Alexandria Hotel, 501 S. Spring St., L.A.

When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays

Price: $20

Contact: (323) 883-1717

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