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Artist Profile: Stephanie Diaz

May 4, 2015

Actor, Casting Director, Puppeteer, Writer

 

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

 

Selected  Theatres:  Lookingglass, , Victory Gardens, Remy Bumppo, ShawChicago, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Steppenwolf, Teatro Vista, Chicago Dramatists, Seattle Rep, Kansas City Rep, The Magic Theatre, First Stage, Mixed Blood, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater and The Village.

 

Casting Director:  multiple-award winning 16th Street Theater.

 

Selected TV/Film: Chicago Fire, The Chicago Code, Redemption Trail.

 

Recognition: 2 nominations and one Honorable Mention: Chicago’s 3 Arts Award. Chicago Magazine’s 2013 “Best Of” issue for diverse casting.

 

Puppetry:  Bunrakustyle tabletop and shadow puppetry, design and performance, for several theatres. 2014 Ragdale Artist in Residence, 2014 grant NALAC.

 

Writing: 2012 Hedgebrook Writer-in-Residence; 2014 Radgale Writer-in-Residence

 

ON INCLUSION

 

Usually Cast: Roles that are Latino or Latina identified. And it’s fine, I don’t mind representing Latinidad, but that’s the only thing I ever get called in for. And (chuckling) a lot of times I don’t book it because I don’t look like people’s "idea" of what a Latino looks like.  

 

If I didn’t use the last name Diaz, you wouldn’t know WHAT I am.  When people see me walk down the street, one of the questions I get asked the most is, “What ARE you? Italian? Greek?” The lady at the Middle East Bakery says, “Are you Arab??”

 

I’m mixed race, like a lot of us are.  It’s frustrating and illuminating to talk to friends who are the same age and type that I am, but who are not of an ethnical persusasion, and hear them express surprise that I wasn’t called in for the same things that they are seen for. And I just go, "girl, where you BEEN? We don’t get the same chances you get."

 

Dream Role: Paulina, "The Winter’s Tale"

 

Most diverse play in Chicago:  The most diverse play that I have seen recently in Chicago...and I might be showing my ignorance here, but it was a show that I was in, "The Great Fire" at Lookingglass. In that rare instance, the actors were playing across gender and color lines.

 

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