Please join us in welcoming our new Resident Casting Director, Danica Rodriguez! While new to STC she is no stranger to casting Shakespeare having previously worked on Kenny Leon’s Much Ado About Nothing at The Public Theater. Danica Rodriguez (she/her/hers) is a casting director who welcomes nuance and specificity in every room she enters. Before starting, we reflected with Danica on her upcoming collaboration with STC and about the secret to great casting.
Q: What are some projects you’ve worked on that you are particularly proud of?
A: I’ve had the immense privilege of working on a variety of projects, spanning new musicals in development to Shakespearean classics. As a casting director and theatre maker, I am especially excited to work on pieces that celebrate authenticity, nuance and specificity. I began my career in casting as a way to enact change by centering voices of the global majority and I carry that with me today. I am most proud of the pieces that embrace intersectionality with joyful storytelling. The projects that immediately come to mind from my time at The Public are Kenny Leon’s Much Ado About Nothing, David Henry Hwang’s Soft Power, the 2019 revival of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls…, and Jordan E. Cooper’s Ain’t No Mo’. I’ve also been very proud to explore the complexity of Latinidad through pieces like Noelle Vinas’ El Condor Magico and an animated short called The Braid of Time by Tamara Shogaolu, which premiered at LALIFF this year. And before I begin this new chapter at STC, I will wrap up ACLU/NYCLU’s 2021 Sing Out For Freedom, where I am proud to support the intersection of art and social justice through this year’s benefit concert.
Q: What are you most excited about in your new partnership with STC?
A: It is so exciting to be joining Shakespeare Theatre Company as they continue to create vibrant, imaginative theatre that shines light on the prolific writers of our past. Perhaps it’s cliche, but as theatre makers we stand on the shoulders of the artists that came before us. STC honors theatre history by reimagining classic works while also engaging and celebrating new emergent artistic voices. It is that blend of community engagement, intentionality, ingenuity, and commitment to their mission that attracted me to STC. I am so proud to join them in the realization of their mission and continue to make innovative theatre with the D.C. arts community.
Q: What is the secret to great casting?
A: Casting directors are designers, we are curators, we are guides and imagineers, but most importantly we are people-focused creatives. Great casting comes from a deep investment in others’ lived experiences and the implementation of care in each step of the process. I don’t think it’s a secret, but the best casting processes are led with generosity, kindness, and curiosity at the forefront. So how do we do that? We talk to each other, we center advocacy and thoughtfulness in the room, we build community with our artists, and we practice gratitude every step of the way.