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Derek Garza


Welcome to my website, where you will find everything you need to know about who I am, how I got my start, and what I am up to now.  I am a mixed race actor, Native American (Wichita/Comanche) & Latino. Ever since I was young, I have had a true love for the arts. I set out to be an Actor that is fearless in my choices, risky in my artistry, and authentic in my artistic journey. Take a look around, and enjoy all that I have to offer. If you have a project that needs an actor, director or a creative eye, I am represented by the best agency in Chicago, Gray Talent GroupAnd managed by the best Management company in LA, Mills Kaplan Entertainment.

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What I’ve Got Going On


Nancy by Rihana Yazzie directed by Ken-Matt Martin
Image credit: Chris Banks (Derek Garza & Anaseini Katoa

April 2024

This marks my debut with Mosaic Theater in DC, as well as collaborating on this phenomenal play with Rihanna Yazzie and Ken-Matt Martin. Nancy makes it's World Premiere here in DC and I couldn't be prouder and honored to work with this amazing cast and crew. This play offers so many challenges as an artist that pushes me in very familiar and unfamiliar ways. The work that Rihana has presented raises questions of Native identity, community, women's struggle for recognition in the patriarchal world of the 1980's, and so much more. All told with humor & compassion for all the characters within the world of the play. 

"In other fine acting turns, Garza switches deftly from the chief of staff’s ranting to the gentleness of Whaley, an Ojibwe businessman." - Washington Post

"A highly versatile Derek Garza" - MD Theatre Guide

"The scenes between Garza’s Whaley and Katoa’s Esmeralda lead to interesting conservations, which touch on a few topics facing Indigenous communities within the U.S. While a brief romance between Esmeralda and Whaley is delightful." - Broadway World

Regina Aquino (Joan/Ensemble; she/her/siya)
Michael Kevin Darnall (Reagan et al.)
Derek Gaza (Whaley/David Lee Roth; he/him)
Lynn Hawley (Nancy Reagan)
Anaseini Katoa (Esmeralda; she/her)
Jen Olivares (Princess Pale Moon/Joey)
Tenley Stitzer (Jacqueline; she/her)

Misha Kachman (Set Design)
Moyenda Kulemeka (Costume Design)
Larry Peterson (Wig Design)
Sherrice Mojgani (Lighting)
Navid Azeez (Sound)
Chelsea Dean (Properties)
Hailey LaRoe (Projections Designer)
Sierra Young (Fight & Intimacy Director)
Chelsea Radigan (Dramaturgy & Casting Director)
Victor Vazquez (Casting).
Shayne O’Neill (Production Stage Manager)


Between Two Knees by the 1491's directed by Eric Ting

February 2024

There is so much to say about this play and this production. I have been with this play since it's creation back at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2019, where we first workshopped the play in the Fall of 2018. It has been an absolute pleasure, joy & honor to work with all these amazing, talented & fierce artists. Every single one of these artists are a part of me and my family. This play holds a special place in my heart, as do all the artists who have been a part of these productions over the past 5 years. To round out this incredible journey at the Perelman Performing Arts Center in NYC is a dream come true. There is so much blood, sweat & tears from everyone in this show, that the experience of building these characters & this story, has left an indelible mark upon each of us. Then to perform such a powerfully funny, heartbreaking, raucous piece of art like this, inevitably leaves a mark on the audiences that have come to see it. I am so humbled to be a part of this show that words fall short of the magic and longing I feel when I have to leave it & my artistic family behind. I am so grateful to each and every one of these artists and proud to call them my family.


"The ensemble of eight inhabits a head-spinning roster of characters with unfaltering versatility." - NY Times Critics Pick

The 1491s – Authors
Eric Ting – Director

Rachel Crowl – Ensemble
Derek Garza – Young Isaiah, Eddie, Ensemble
Justin Gauthier – Larry
Irma-Estel Laguerre – Understudy for Older Irma, Ensemble
Shyla Lefner – Young Irma, Irene, Ensemble
Wotko Long – Older Isaiah, Ensemble
Jessica Ranville – Understudy for Young Irma, Irene, Ensemble
James Ryen – Ensemble
John Scott-Richardson – Understudy for Older Isaiah, Ensemble
Kholan Studi – Understudy for Young Isaiah, Eddie, Larry, Ensemble
Shaun Taylor-Corbett – William, Ensemble
Sheila Tousey – Older Irma, Ensemble
Ryan Anthony Williams – Understudy for Larry, William, Ensemble

Choreographer – Ty Defoe
Original Choreography – Shaun Taylor-Corbett
Regina García – Scenic Design
Lux Haac – Costume Design
Elizabeth Harper – Lighting Design
Jake Rodriguez – Sound Design
Shawn Duan – Projection Design
Younghawk Bautista – Wig & Hair Design
Ryan RedCorn – Original Songs
Julie Felise Dubiner – Dramaturg
Rod Kinter – Fight Director
Samantha Shoffner – Properties Supervisor
Paul Pinto – Vocal Coach
Stephanie Yankwitt, Tanis Parenteau – Additional Casting
Joy Dickson – Original Casting
Tara Rubin C.S.A. – Yale Casting
Amanda Nita Luke-Sayed – Production Stage Manager
Kevin Jinghong Zhu – Assistant Stage Manager
Amber Johnson – Assistant Stage Manager
Kholan Studi – Assistant Director
Lindsay Mummert – Assistant Scenic Designer
Sonia Alvarez – Associate Costumes Designer
Lindsey Eifert – Assistant Costumes Designer
Edward Hansen – Assistant Lighting Designer
Emily Duncan Wilson – Associate Sound Designer
Benji Arrigo – Assistant Projection Designer
Ridley Walker – Asst. Projection Designer/Programmer
Natalie Lay – Assistant Properties Supervisor
Susana Montoya Quinchia – Assistant Fight Director


Our Town at Baltimore Center Stage

Sept. 22, 2022

"Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anyone to realize you." - Thorton Wilder Our Town

I'm so fortunate to be a part of this production of OUR TOWN directed by the amazing Stevie Walker-Webb at Baltimore Center Stage. This cast & crew & artists have created such a community of love, joy, & laughter. The incredible amount of diversity on stage allows for the human story Thorton Wilder has written and under Stevie's open and generous direction, to flourish and come alive in the most beautiful of ways. This is a version of Our Town unlike any production you've seen, because it's told by such diverse voices and has such a Baltimore vibe. It has truly become Our Town that's happening in this town of Baltimore. Book your tickets now cause you don't want to miss it!

Our Town Tickets

Moving Boxes

Derek Garza moves to DC

April 2020

It was definitely a bittersweet moment to leave the city I called my Artistic Home after I finished graduate school, as well as my literal home where I started my family life with my beautiful wife, Tahani, and my crazy beautiful babies, Blaze and Storm.

mother road cast.jpg

Opening Night of Mother Road at Arena Stage

February 13th, 2020

I'm so proud to join this incredible cast from the amazing World Premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to it's East Coast Premiere at Arena Stage! I happened to meet Octavio Solis on a plane from Ashland, OR on my way to Boston to revive my role as Cassio in OSF's production of Othello at American Repertory Theater. I recognized him and by chance we happened to sit across the aisle from each other. I introduced myself and told him how much I liked his work with Mother Road and had wanted to be a part of the production, but I was cast in the amazing production of Between Two Knees, another World Premiere at OSF. Fate would have it that Mother Road would get another life at Arena Stage in the beautiful Fichandler Theater. It also meant I would get another opportunity to be a part of the production and be in the rehearsal room again with director Bill Rauch! I was so thankful to be cast in the production, to work with the beautiful words of Octavio Solis, work with such amazing artists both backstage and onstage, and in an amazing theater! Happy Opening!!

“You have to look deeper, way below the anger, the hurt, the hate, the jealousy, the self-pity, way down deeper where the dreams lie, son. Find your dream. It’s the pursuit of the dream that heals you.”

Billy Mills

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