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Light the Spark: Julia Diaz

Posted on September 28, 2021

We are thrilled to welcome Julia Diaz to CTC who will play the role of Ms. Garcia in our world premiere production of Something Happened in Our Town running February 27-March 27, 2022. Below we talk about what sparked her interest in theatre and what it means for her as a Latinx actor in the Twin Cities. Read on!

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Tell us a bit about what sparked your interest in theatre?
Julia Diaz: When I was a little kid, I would get obsessed with musicals. I must’ve rewatched Grease, West Side Story, Annie, and Hairspray more than a dozen times each. My family members weren’t exactly avid theatre goers when I was younger, but the few musicals I did see on stage were, like, mind-blowing magic to me. I would watch these incredible, trained actors, dancers, and singers and think to myself, “I think I can do that.” My sophomore year of high school I performed in a play and musical for the first time. I‘ve been hooked ever since.

What do you bring from your identity to the stage?
JD: As a Latinx actress, I have had many opportunities to perform in productions that allow for incidental portrayal, where my personal identity was nonessential to the character I was embodying. However, I’ve had very few opportunities to perform in productions that allow for intentional portrayal — where my personal identity was essential to the role — providing real opportunity for me to truthfully illustrate my lived experience as a Latinx woman of color. These are the stories I feel most compelled to engage in and share with audiences. I want to work with artistic and production teams that are committed to an identity conscious process (that also takes into account historical representation), because as a woman of color, I always bring my identity to the stage no matter the role I’m in.

What are you most looking forward to with theatre returning to the stage?
JD: I’m so excited to see live performances again! One show I’m super excited to see is Annie at CTC this fall — it was one of my absolute favorites as a kid.

You are playing the children’s teacher, Ms. Garcia in Something Happened in Our Town this season at CTC—what does participating in this show mean to you?
JD: I am honored to be participating in a play that not only teaches children the complex relationship between racial injustice and policing in America, but also teaches them to stand up for any child being bullied, no matter their race or ethnicity, and encourages them to be a part of the solution rather than the problem.

Don’t miss the world premiere of Something Happened in Our Town. Get your tickets today! 


A Children’s Theatre Company Original World Premiere Production

Friendships challenged, a world changed, and two young people struggling to make sense of it all. Follow friends and neighbors, Josh and Emma, as they navigate their way through an experience beyond their control and understanding.

Josh and Emma have many questions about the tragic killing of a Black man by a White police officer. Real questions that deserve real answers. But during conversations over dinner, at bedtime, before and  after school, their families (one Black and one White) find such answers don’t come easily. Layered with compassion and humor, this show invites you to walk alongside Josh and Emma as they confront uncertainty within their town and between themselves. More than just a “must see,” this play will help families more fully understand how their neighbors’ experiences might be different than their own.

Written by Cheryl L. West
Directed by Timothy Douglas

Based on the book Something Happened in Our Town by Marianne Celano, PhD, ABPPMarietta Collins, PhDAnn Hazzard, PhD, ABPP