Stephanie Díaz is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago. She divides her time between acting work, puppetry projects and writing short fiction and poetry. She is an Associate Artist and Casting Director with the award-winning 16th Street Theater, recipient of the American Theatre Wing’s 2013 National Theater Company Award as well as the 2013 “Best Emerging Theater” citation from both Chicago Magazine and the League of Chicago Theaters. As an actor, her credits include work at 16th Street, Lookingglass Theater, Victory Gardens, Remy Bumppo, ShawChicago, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Steppenwolf Theater, Teatro Vista, Chicago Dramatists, Seattle Repertory Theater, Kansas City Repertory Theater, The Magic Theatre, First Stage, Mixed Blood Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Seattle’s 5th Ave. Theater and The Village Theatre. TV/Film credits include Chicago Fire, The Chicago Code and the recently-released indie western Redemption Trail, starring Lily Rabe and Lisagay Hamilton. Her work as a performer has been recognized by Chicago Magazine, WBEZ, and with two consecutive nominations (and one Honorable Mention) for Chicago’s prestigious 3Arts Award in 2012 and 2013. Her casting work champions diversity and was recognized in Chicago Magazine’s 2013 “Best Of” issue. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity Association.
As a puppeteer, she specializes in Bunraku-style tabletop and shadow puppetry. Her full-length work, Mariposa Nocturna: A Puppet Triptychdebuted in Oct 2013 at the Chicago Cultural Center(developed in residence with DCASE), and features more than 30 puppets and manipulated objects. The Free Street Theater production of Mariposa Nocturna had a successful two-week run in October 2014 and went on to a critically-acclaimed, sold-out opening the inaugural Chicago International Puppet Theater Fetival in January 2015. She works primarily with found materials (organic and man-made), paper, papier-maché, wood and wire and is inspired and influenced by the Quay Brothers, Marta Carrasco, Jan Svankmajer, Guillermo del Toro, silent-era film and Butoh. She trained and performed for several seasons with Seattle’s acclaimed Thistle Theatre, for whom she created the company’s first-ever bilingual show, and has since performed puppetry with Sandi Shinner of In The Heart of the Beast (Minneapolis), Monkey Wrench Puppet Lab (Seattle), Blair Thomas and Company (Chicago), Lookingglass Theater and Links Hall. Her puppetry and mask designs have been seen at Lookingglass Theater, 16th Street Theater, Collaboraction, The Goodman Theatre’s Latino Fest, Prop Thtr, The Paper Machete Show, Links Hall, and Proyecto Latina. She is a 2014 Ragdale Artist-in-Residence. She recently formed Portmanteau, an experimental, object-and-film based performance project, with creative partner Jessica Mondres.