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Diane Rodriguez Departs Center Theatre Group


Rodriguez will Launch New Artistic Company Rodriguez Projects

Center Theatre Group Associate Artistic Director Diane Rodriguez announced that she will leave the organization on June 30, 2019, after 24 years on the artistic staff at the leading nonprofit theatre organization. Rodriguez has overseen new play production at Center Theatre Group since 2005, commissioning, developing and producing the new work of over 75 artists and was director of a significant 10-year-long Andrew W. Mellon Foundation project devoted to collaborative new works.

“It has been my distinct honor to call Center Theatre Group my artistic home since 1995 – it provided me a platform to lead, develop and produce work. I arrived at Center Theatre Group as an artist and I depart as an artist. As a director, playwright and creative producer, I look forward to continuing my work with the stellar artistic community of Los Angeles, as well as national and international collaborators I have had the pleasure to work with over the years.”

“Shortly after arriving at Center Theatre Group in 2005, Diane urged me to further explore the evolving nature of our art form and to understand that the future of nonprofit theatre would rely on embracing our tradition of breaking boundaries and expanding the public’s perception of what ‘live theatre’ represented,” said Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group. “The organization and I were fortunate to have a boundless artist like Diane on staff. It has been with her continued sense of exploration that we’ve been able to create and present bold new works across the vast locales of Los Angeles and work with a diverse group of extraordinarily remarkable artists, both local and international. These values so championed by Diane are part of Center Theatre Group’s DNA and will continue with us as we move ahead into our next 50 years.”

A producer, director, actor and writer, Rodriguez will launch a new artistic company, Rodriguez Projects, helmed by Rodriguez in which she directs, writes and produces artistic endeavors and projects for and with other entities. Later this summer, she will be a Master Artist at the National Institute of Directing and Ensemble Creation in Minneapolis and, in the upcoming season, she will direct various works in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Providence, R.I. She will also serve as Resident Artist at The Rosenthal Theater in Los Angeles.

For Center Theatre Group, Rodriguez has commissioned, developed and produced the new work of over 75 artists, both playwrights and companies, including recent productions of “How to Be a Rock Critic” by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, “Straight White Men” by Young Jean Lee, “The White Album” by Lars Jan and “Venice is Dead” by Roger Guenveur Smith and Richard Montoya. She curated and produced, with REDCAT, RADAR LA, An International Theatre Festival in 2011 and 2013. She has directed for East West Players, South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Mixed Blood in Minneapolis, Actors Theatre of Phoenix (two Best Director nominations, ariZoni Theatre Awards), Borderlands Theater in Arizona, Victory Gardens in Chicago and Playwrights’ Arena/Los Angeles (Best Director nomination, LA Weekly Awards) among others. For 10 seasons, she was a leading actress for the seminal theatre company El Teatro Campesino, with whom she toured internationally. She was also a cofounder of the ground-breaking comedy troupe, Latins Anonymous.

Rodriguez served on the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) Board for eight years (three as president) and was appointed to the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment for the Arts, by President Obama. Diane will continue with her appointed service with the NEA and provide service to the College of Fellows for the American Theatre.

She has also written, directed and premiered two of her own full length works, “Living Large” at Teatro Luna in Chicago and “The Sweetheart Deal” at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. She worked for Mattel, Inc. as the book writer for the Broadway style musical “Barbie Live!,” which toured Asia in 2013 and Latin America in 2010. She also worked as a creative and cultural consultant for the Disney Television Animation series “Elena of Avalor.”

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2100-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

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May 30, 2019