Diana Elizabeth Jordan likes to joke that she was “meant to be an actress” because she entered the world in high dramatic fashion. Her doctors worked on her for 45 minutes before she started breathing on her own. Diagnosed with cerebral palsy (which mildly affects her speech and gait) around age 2, Diana grew up conquering adversity and not letting anything stop her from pursuing her dreams and goals. She founded and opened The Rainbow Butterfly Café in October 2014.
She began pursuing her acting career in Chicago after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Theater and Media Arts from the University of Kansas. Following a successful career working in Chicago Theater, she became the first actress with a disability to be accepted into the MFA Acting Program at California State University Long Beach. She obtained her MFA in Acting in 2001. During her career, Diana has been featured in over 30 plays, television, and short and features films.
One of Diana Elizabeth Jordan’s favorite school memories from elementary school was when she did a book report on Harriet Tubman. Instead of standing up in front to the class and giving her report, she dressed in costume and gave her report as “Harriet Tubman.” The impact of that assignment significantly influenced Diana’s choice to include arts education as part of her career journey as an actress.
Her background as an Artist Educator and Drama Specialist includes designing and implementing theater programs, acting classes, workshops and performance projects for youth, underserved communities and youth and adults with disabilities. Diana holds a certification in Social Emotional Arts from UCLA Arts and Healing and is studying drama therapy at The Los Angeles Institute For Drama Therapy. Having the personal experience of living with a disability, she is passionate about everyone having equal access to arts and that arts education and participation should be a lifelong experience
Diana has been speaking publically about her experiences living as an African American with a disability since she was in high school. She has been an invited as an Inspirational Speaker to colleges, universities, elementary, Jr. High and high schools arts and community organizations. She created the motivational performance workshop D.A.R.E. T.O. D.R.E.A.M. Your Possible Dream to empower youth to achieve their goals and dreams. Diana dedicated her career to changing perceptions about disability, celebrating multicultural diversity and to empowering youth to pursue their dreams and goals through her work as an Actor, Inspirational Speaker, Artist Educator and Drama Specialist.