Diane Rodriguez started her artistic journey at Luis Valdez’s Teatro Campesino and is currently the Center Theatre Group’s Associate Artistic Director, but her journey goes on. It was announced today that Rodriguez has been appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate to be a member of the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Director, writer and Obie Award-winning actor Rodriguez brings her considerable experience fostering greater visibility for Latina/o theatre, advancing a feminist presence in the arts, and playing a leadership role in theatre nationwide to help advance the NEA’s mission to give all Americans the opportunity to experience creativity and participate in the arts.
The National Council on the Arts advises the NEA chairman on agency policies and programs. It reviews and makes recommendations to the chairman on applications for grants, funding guidelines and leadership initiatives.
For 21 years, Rodriguez has been on the staff of CTG, which produces on three stages in Los Angeles: the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theatre. In her current position and in her previous positions as associate producer/director of New Play Production and co-director of the Latino Theater Initiative at the Mark Taper Forum, Rodriguez has helped increase the diversity of voices on CTG stages and promoted the development of a new generation of playwrights.
Since 2008, she has been on the board of directors of Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization for professional theatres in the United States, and for the last three years has served as chairman of the board. With TCG, she plays a leadership role in setting the national agenda for the theatre field. In addition, she is on the steering committee for the Latina/o Theatre Commons, helping shape the landscape for Latino theatre nationwide through convenings, play festivals and advocacy.
Rodriguez’s early work at CTG has been documented in the recent monograph “The Latino Theatre Initiative/Center Theatre Group Papers, 1980 – 2005” (UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center). She has contributed to many literary anthologies including “La Voz Latina: Contemporary Plays and Performance Pieces by Latinas” by Elizabeth C. Ramirez and Catherine Casiano (University of Illinois Press 2011).
Rodriguez co-founded the theatre ensemble Latins Anonymous whose two-play anthology, Latins Anonymous is in its 16th printing. Her latest play, The Sweetheart Deal, will be co-produced by the Latino Theatre Company and El Teatro Campesino in 2017 in Los Angeles.