- By KEN WERTHER
- Photo Courtesy of CTG
Diane Rodriguez was a leading light of the local and national theatre communities. She was one of the smartest people I have ever known. She was my colleague and my friend and I am still in deep denial about the fact that she’s gone. After a long struggle with cancer that only a few people knew about (I was not one of them), she died, only 68 years old, on April 10.
Diane’s long, distinguished career began with El Teatro Campesino in San Jose. Luis Valdez, its founder and artistic director said, “Her power as an artist came from the heart, which she shared onstage as well as in life.” She spent 24 years at Center Theatre Group during which time she simultaneously kept a career as an actress, playwright, and director, working here in LA, around the country, and internationally. She was appointed to the National Council on the Arts by former President Barack Obama and served as president of the national service organization Theatre Communications Group. Put simply, her achievements were impressive and many.
For a good portion of the time I worked at CTG, Diane’s office was right next door to mine. We chatted, we laughed, we debated world issues (sometimes when we probably should have been working). She was truly an extraordinary human being and I will be forever grateful that our paths crossed. Rest in peace, dear Diane. You will never be forgotten.