Welcome to Ask an Admin, a series in which we talk with theatre administrators and theatre-makers working in Minnesota to learn about their backgrounds, their jobs, and what snacks they keep in their desks.

Amanda Rodriguez

Marketing Manager at Minnesota Opera

Tell us a little about yourself and your path to your current position.

I grew up brown in a very white, rural town in Illinois. Discovering theater was an escape from that lifestyle and literally an escape from the place that held me down. I am sure many can relate to theater saving their life in some way. I went to college to become an educator until I realized that was not for me. My stage fright and overall undiagnosed anxiety and depression didn’t allow me to flourish onstage. That – and I somehow made it into a theater program not knowing what a monologue was – yay Illinois education! Anyways, I found out that I excelled in business and administration. I finished my degree in Arts Administration at Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL. I moved to MN and got my foot in the door at The Children’s Theater Company, moved on to the Guthrie, and now work as Marketing Manager at the Minnesota Opera.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A Spice Girl.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is doing my job. I love learning new things and becoming a master of my craft. I have learned so much about administration, leadership, and much more in past couple of years.

When did you know you wanted to work in theatre/the arts?

When I was in high school. I was like – yup, this is it. 

What has surprised you most about your work/working in theatre/the arts?

For a culture that likes to think they are the most progressive by nature, it is really surprising how much these arts institutions uphold white supremacy and all the systems that sprout from it.

Who gave you the best advice you’ve ever received, and what was that advice?

A past co-worker that I still look up to today said, “I don’t even ask anymore, I just do it.” And that has been my mood ever since.

What’s the best/your favorite production you’ve seen in the Twin Cities in the last year? 

I am still waiting for my favorite. 

You’re stuck on a desert island. Which three theatre-makers would you want to be stuck with (living or dead)?

LOL THAT SOUNDS SO HORRIBLE.  Probably any three women from a scene shop so they can make my shelter and clothes and keep me plump so they can eventually eat me to survive.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to work in arts administration/your position?

Get ready to be broke forever, and never take anything too seriously – it’s just theater.

Do you keep snacks in your desk/work area? What are they?

Chocolate chip Teddy Grahams.