Meet Seattle Rep’s new artistic director, Dámaso Rodríguez! He will begin this new adventure at the end of July 2023. Learn more about Dámaso’s artistic vision, what he’s excited to bring to the community, and more!
1) Tell us about yourself!
Let’s start with my name. I’m the seventh “Dámaso Rodríguez” in my family. My son is the eighth. It’s a tradition that goes back consecutively for as many generations. My parents were born in Havana, Cuba and came to the U.S. as kids with my grandparents in the years leading up to and following the Cuban Revolution. I was born in Miami, Florida, where I have a large extended family of Cuban descent, and I’m a lifelong Miami Dolphins fan.
When I was a kid, we moved to Dallas, Texas. I went to college at Texas A&M University. That’s where I met my wife Sara Hennessy, who is also a theater maker. We both chose to start our careers as actors in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles, where we spent 14 years. In L.A. we founded a theater company and started a family. Our son Dámaso is 17 and our daughter Eva is 14. For the past 10 years, we’ve lived in Portland. Together with our dog, Winter, we’re excited to make the move just three hours north to Seattle, a city we’ve grown to love over many visits.
2) Why are you excited to be joining Seattle Rep?
Seattle Rep is one of the most consistently vibrant and vital theater companies in the country. It’s an honor to join this organization and contribute to its storied history. I see Seattle Rep and Seattle as a place of boundless artistic possibilities. I’m drawn to the extraordinary facilities and what they make possible—there are few producing theaters in the country with performance spaces, production shops, and administrative offices all in one location. The theaters are canvases for creating the most dynamic range of work one can imagine, from the epic to the intimate, from timeless classics to timely new plays. And then, there’s the sublimely simple yet expansive vision to create “theater at the heart of public life.” I can’t wait to get started.
3) Can you share more about your artistic vision and what our community can expect from the theater moving forward?
I believe my artistic vision aligns with Seattle Rep’s work over the decades. We’re here to entertain and exhilarate, to generate passion for the shared experience of theater. “Theater at the heart of public life” means creating theatrical events that feel like vital community gatherings, inspire word of mouth, are newsworthy, spark dialogue, and create FOMO. Expect ambitious new plays and musicals alongside timely Seattle Rep productions of both iconic and canon-expanding revivals. Seattle Rep will be a home for bold Seattle theater-makers who collaborate with peers from around the world.
4) What excites you most about moving to Seattle and becoming part of our vibrant local arts community?
Besides the prospect of living in the stunning beauty of the Puget Sound region, I’m most excited about getting to know artists both inside and outside the theater scene. I’m eager to see and experience art across disciplines, to meet new collaborators, and to discover what we’ll create together.
Hear a special message from Dámaso:
Read more about Dámaso in the press
- American Theatre: Seattle Rep Names Dámaso Rodríguez Its New Artistic Director
- Seattle Times: Meet Seattle Rep's new artistic director
- Broadway World: Dámaso Rodríguez Named as Seattle Rep's New Artistic Director
- Puget Sound Business Journal: The Rep has a new artistic director and a call to action
- Oregon Artswatch: Dámaso Rodriguez moves to Seattle Rep; Center Stage’s JAW Festival kicks off