Alison Starling interviews talented Broadway actress Natascia Diaz from West Side Story
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
Six days a week, Natascia Diaz is in her dressing room preparing for a role she says was made for her.
"She is my soul, she really is," Diaz tells ABC7.
West Side Story's Anita was made famous by Rita Moreno's Oscar winning performance in the early 1960s.
Yet, this timeless musical comes alive again with topics still relevant today.
"This piece challenges people's underlying fear of others, fear of inclusion, and fear of what you don't know or don't understand," she says.
Diaz's mother was an Italian ballerina and her father, a Puerto Rican opera star.
"There's definitely that sense of cockiness, and Spanish flare that I think I absorb, and it's great I can use it or not," Diaz laughs. "I'm not a slave to it I hope!"
With her parent's combined talents and a lot of hard work, Diaz like Moreno, soars in West Side Story.
Though Diaz has been on Broadway many times, the first time she performance in D.C. at the Kennedy Center she says she felt at home, and a bit overwhelmed.
"With Kennedy's words on the side of the building, [paying] an homage to the importance of the arts in society I was going around saying, is this place real?" Diaz questioned.
Diaz was shocked (and ecstatic) when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg showed up to one of her recent performances.
"I'm so touched that people let me in. It's a privilege and I take it very seriously," Diaz says.
As West Side Story wraps up, Diaz says she will hang up her iconic purple dress and begin Othello at the Shakespeare Theatre in February.
"It's a dream come true for me to be able to dance, and then do Shakespeare. I mean It's what I always wanted and I can do that here."
West Side Story ends this Sunday.