Artists Repertory Theatre today announced that Dámaso Rodriguez has been selected as the next Artistic Director beginning in January 2013. Rodriguez takes the artistic reins of the 30-year-old Artists Rep from retiring Artistic Director Allen Nause, who has led the company for the past 25 years. Well known in Los Angeles for his daring, thrilling and visceral work as a multiple award-winning director, Rodriguez will direct the West Coast Premiere of Ten Chimneys, by Jeffery Hatcher, as his Artists Rep directorial debut in April.
To join Artists Rep in Portland, Rodriguez is leaving his position as Co-Artistic Director of Los Angeles’ Furious Theatre Company, known for its edgy, tightly-wound plays with a visceral aesthetic that he co-founded with an ensemble in 2001. From 2007-2010, Rodriguez served as Associate Artistic Director for Pasadena Playhouse when Artistic Director Sheldon Epps brought Rodriguez on as his protégé after working with him in his Artistic Director capacity with Furious, which began a residency at The Playhouse’s Second Stage in 2004.
Rodriguez was recently recognized as one of three finalists for the 2012 Stage Directors & Choreographers Society’s “Zelda Fichandler Award,” which is given each year to an “outstanding director who is transforming the regional arts landscape through theatre.” Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Artistic Director, Bill Rauch, won this year’s award.
The artistic leadership will transition over the next six months. Nause and Rodriguez will work together to select Artists Rep’s 2013/14 season and that time overlap will allow for both artistic and staff acclimation to the changeover.