Coming up in December… Feature Playwright: Toccara Castleman “Maybe a Mexican”

Meet Toccara Castleman, our December Feature in The Mary Rodgers Room at The Dramatists Guild.  We’re looking forward to feature Toccara’s work and allowing you to get to know her work as a writer.


Toccara Castleman is a writer, actress, and occasional singer from Chicago who prefers speaking in the first person. I’ve spent 11 years working in Corporate America to support myself and my family, while also working part-time to fulfill my artistic goals. So I have a PhD in reality and an MFA in resourcefulness, with a specialization in resiliency. I have endured dreams deferred, a plethora of false starts, and enough rejections to last a lifetime. Nevertheless, I’ve persisted. 


I am committed to telling stories where Black people and other marginalized communities are central to the narrative, nuanced, multidimensional, and loved. I produce work in a variety of mediums including: theatre, television and digital media. Armed with a bit of courage, a splash of humor, far too many crazy ideas, and the ability to get back up and try again and again and again…I am persisting. 



“Maybe a Mexican” written by Toccara Castleman 

Set in the future, Maybe a Mexican follows the journey of Ernesto Rodriguez, a Mexican-American man who decides to run for President of the United States – asking not only what he can do for his country, but questioning what his country can do for him. On the way to the ballot, Ernesto is confronted with issues that trouble both Latino and Black communities and must ultimately decide to whom he pledges his true allegiance: to Mexicans, Black America or his personal quest for justice 


Ernesto Rodriguez: mid 30s, Mexican-American from Chicago

Business owner / Mechanic 

Sensitive, family man. A reluctant leader whose misguided anger and ambition ultimately cloud his judgment. Ernesto is the owner of Rodriguez & Sons, auto-body shop located on the South Side of Chicago, founded by his father.  **(Must be comfortable reading / speaking Spanish)**

Lorena Rodriguez: mid 30s, Mexican-American from Chicago 

Business owner / Office manager  

Fun-loving wife and mother. A voice of reason even when nobody’s listening. Lorena helps her husband, Ernesto, run the family business. She’s a leader within her own right. She is loving, supportive and level headed.   

Dennis: late 30s, Mexican-American from Chicago


Humorous blue-collar teddy bear. Dennis is the kind of guy you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley … and then he hugs you. Ernesto and Dennis grew up together as close family friends and although Ernesto is technically “the boss” at Rodriguez & Sons, Ernesto respects Dennis like an older brother”.  **(Must be comfortable reading / speaking Spanish)**

Helene: early 30s, African-American from Chicago

Law Student (on hiatus) / Part-Time Cleaner at Rodriguez & Sons 

Sharp and witty. Helene is an activist without a cause who’s looking for a chance to make a difference in the world. She’s an employee of Rodriguez & Sons and a close friend of Ernesto. She’s resourceful and ambitious and she loves as hard as she loses. 

Seth: late 20s, White-American from Chicago

Campaign Organizer 

Awkward and ambitious. Seth would like to be more important than he is. He has good intentions, although his actions don’t always reflect that. Seth is looking for a win, by any means necessary. 

Mitch: early 40s, White-American from Illinois 

Co-Host of “The Right Guys” a very local conservative news talk show

If Rush Limbaugh had a Midwest protégée, Mitch would be it. He’s one-half of the “The Right Guys” who run a talk show based in Illinois where they give their very biased take on all things politics and immigration. Of the two hosts, Mitch is the ring leader, who’s not afraid to say what’s on his mind, for better or worse – but usually worse. 

**Characters will NOT use racial slurs** 

Jerry: late 30s, White-American from Illinois 

Co-Host of “The Right Guys” a very local conservative news talk show

Jerry is the ying to Mitch’s yang, following suit with whatever shenanigans Mitch proposes. Eager, comical and unafraid of censorship, Jerry is quite happily along for the ride. 

**Characters will NOT use racial slurs**