Meet the Barrymore Voters: Rachel Beecher | Theatre Philadelphia
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Meet the Barrymore Voters: Rachel Beecher

Aug 28, 2017

The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre started in 1995, and celebrates the rich, diverse theatre community through a peer-adjudicated process. In the 2017-18 Season, we have 70 nominators and 12 judges that will see over 100 professional productions. Our expanded pool of voters this season represents the exciting and diverse theatre community that is thriving in Philadelphia. This entry is part of a profile series to introduce you to the voters who are an integral part of the Barrymore process.

Name: Rachel Beecher

What is your current role in the Philadelphia theatre community?: I'm a freelance stage manager and teaching artist!

What was the first theatre production you were involved in, and what did you learn from it?: In 3rd grade, we had two school plays: The Princess and the Pea and Dragon Soup. I played the Queen in The Princess and the Pea, but the kid who played the titular Dragon in Dragon Soup was sick the day of the performance. In a very cliche movie moment, my teacher looked at me and said, "Do you know it?" and I responded extremely dramatically, "Every. Word."

What is your education and training experience?: B.A. in Theater from Temple University. 2016-2017 Wilma Stage Management Fellowship

How did you first get involved in the Philadelphia theatre community?: Moving here for college was one of the best choices I ever made! Temple has a great network of professors working in and around the city that are amazing resources as a young professional. My first gig in Philly was for two of my professors from Temple, Brandon McShaffrey and Peter Reynolds at Mauckingbird Theatre Company.

What made you want to be a nominator/judge for the Barrymore Awards?: The Barrymores always feel like a giant celebration of our peers. It's an amazing way to lift each other up and give shouts out to the people who deserve it! Just being a small part of that celebration is thrilling.

What projects are you currently working on in Philly?: I'm stage managing both shows for Delaware Shakespeare this season (Summer festival: Henry V; fall community tour: As You Like It) and ASMing A Period of Animate Existence for Pig Iron at the Fringe!

If you weren’t working in theatre, what other job do you think you would be doing?: I would be a high school English teacher (cue Bye Bye Birdie). I love working with kids, and I've done a lot of teaching artist and summer camp work, but there's something enticing about shaping kids' lives for a whole school year and really delving in rather than a week at a time. And getting to read and teach literature for a living sounds swell.

What show would you love to work on that you haven’t gotten a chance to yet?: My dream show to stage manage would probably be My Fair Lady. I distinctly remember seeing the movie for the first time as a kid (Audrey Hepburn in that hat!). I love the music, and the challenge of big casts/orchestras/moving parts is really enticing.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the theatre industry?: We are a community of Energizer bunnies that never stop moving or going or creating, and that's why I love theater. However, you gotta take time for yourself when you can! Take a vacation (or even a staycation), go visit family if you have any, get out of that dark theater and spend some time in the sun, be by yourself, try something new. You deserve a respite after all that fabulous art you're making.

What production have you seen recently in Philly as an audience member that inspired you?: I loved WHITE at Theatre Horizon. Not only was it funny and smart, but it was bringing up some incredibly important issues that I'm so glad our community has the ability to shed light on and discuss openly.

If you could have dinner with any four people, living or dead, who would they be and why?: 1. Edgar Allen Poe. I grew up reading and re-reading his works. Also HOW DID HE DIE? I wanna know. That John Cusack movie just didn't satiate me. 2. Oscar Wilde. I think we're all in need of a little social commentary and satire nowadays, don't you think? 3. Emma Goldman. I mean, what a indomitable lady. If you've read her autobiography, you know why. 4. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. My favorite author and all around incredible, inspiring woman. Try and tell me that Adichie and Emma Goldman couldn't take over the world together. I would plotz just being in a room with any of these four, nonetheless engage in lively discussion about politics/feminism/human rights. Where's my DeLorean?

Keep up with all the shows our Barrymore Nominators and Judges are seeing this season by checking out What's On Stage in Philly this week!