What is it like to work with Rachael?

 

Acting

"Actress Rachael Swartz plays 3 roles in The 39 Steps, currently being presented at Blank Canvas Theatre. At any point in the show, she might appear as a classic leading lady named Pamela, mysterious German named Annabella, or a Scottish farmwife named Margaret -- but whatever character she may be portraying, nothing can disguise Rachael's striking beauty or unique comic sensibilities." - LandofCleve.net


"The beauteous Rachael Swartz plays some (but not nearly all) the women roles, switching smoothly from one accent to another as her multiple characters tweak and tempt Hannay." - Christine Howey, Rave and Pan

Teaching

“Rachael was instrumental in taking our summer camp to the next level. Her enthusiasm and energy endeared her to the campers and their families. Rachael’s dedication to her craft is evident throughout her process. She faces challenges head on and approaches her work in a scholarly manner that yields effective results. Her work ethic and passion for education were greatly appreciated within our organization.” - Lance Culpepper, Associate Producer, The Lost Colony

“Rachael is an excellent teacher. Of all the graduate students I have taught at the University of Southern Mississippi in the past eleven years, Rachael is one of the most promising voice and speech teachers for higher education. She has the knowledge and communication skills in all areas of voice, speech, dialects and musical theatre needed to inspire and inform young theatre artists... Rachael is a very talented vocalist and can clearly communicate to students about the acting process within a musical theatre piece. … it is apparent Rachael has an overall excitement as a teacher and a deep care for her students." - Robin Aronson, Professor of Voice and Acting - The University of Southern Mississippi, President of The Lessac Institute

"Rachael is an exceptional woman, artist, and educator. She is dedicated, present, passionate, cultured, and nothing short of brilliant. She takes the time to create personal relationships with her students and colleagues, because she recognizes the value and interconnectedness of a person and their artistry. Students flock to Rachael because she possesses the wisdom, experience, and grace of an artist and woman well beyond her years. She is a true leader and visionary." - Anna Lisa Fischel, Actor and Educator

"In addition to our encounter in University, I was fortunate enough to work with Rachael again as her Assistant Education Director at Maples Repertory Theatre in Macon, MO.  It was there that I truly saw her passion for teaching.  It touched me to see how much she inspired our students – they came out with a passion for the art form and newfound confidence.  Her love for what she does is infectious and her unparalleled confidence in her students empowers them to do beautiful things.  (She’s kind of a Jedi – she got a bunch of teenagers to learn Oscar Wilde in a week.)" - Courtney Calato, Actor and Fight Director

"Rachael has gone above and beyond what I expected of an adjunct professor. In her short time at Ashland, she has made an effort to connect with every theatre student, not just those taking courses she was teaching. She accepted the position of faculty advisor for the theatre academic honorary, Alpha Psi Omega. She has played a big part in organizing students to go to Ohio Theatre Alliance Auditions and Interviews. The reason many of the students have professional headshots is because of Rachael’s advice and connections with a photographer. For all intents and purposes, she has helped everyone in the department in some way or another become a more professional individual." - Seth Morrison, Student

Directing

"I worked closely with Rachael when we produced Dead Man’s Cell Phone, which she directed, as part of our mainstage season.  I enjoyed our collaboration greatly.  Rachael had a strong vision for the show, and was open to listening to the opinions of those of us on the design team.  The group of us formed a solid working relationship based on respect, creativity, and a love for the arts.  I would welcome the opportunity to work with her again.

Rachael’s ability to work with student actors of all skill levels is astounding.  I was able to observe her interactions with students in class and in rehearsal.  She is professional, yet caring; exacting, yet collaborative; fun, but not a pushover; understanding but not sparing.  She earned the respect and loyalty of her students in her classes and in her productions, on both professional and personal levels.  Rachael encouraged the students to get professional headshots, to participate in regional auditions, to take chances, to look for opportunities.  Her enthusiasm is contagious.

As a director outside of the more formal classroom setting, Rachael led a group of freshman in their first semester and a senior with whom she had never worked, and created an amazing piece of theatre in Dead Man’s Cell Phone.  The students, including her stage management team, made unprecedented progress during the few short weeks of the rehearsal process.  In the spring semester, she volunteered to direct The Vagina Monologues for Alpha Psi Omega.  Rachael treated the subject matter and the students involved with the utmost respect and sensitivity." - Patty Lanious, Instructor of Theatre, Ashland University

Vocal Coaching

"I recently gave a TedX Talk at Bergen Community College in New Jersey, and I simply could not have done it without the help of Rachael Swartz. Although I am an experienced performer, this public speaking engagement was a particular challenge for me because I had to present it without notes or teleprompter, and because it was on an emotionally complex topic. Rachael’s assistance and direction as a coach was absolutely essential. Her feedback was honest, constructive and sensitive; she assisted me with every aspect of the talk from sculpting content to polishing delivery. Even when I didn’t believe I could pull it off, Rachael believed in me, and that encouragement made all the difference. My speech was well received, and I am now excited to do more public speaking. I highly recommend Rachael Swartz to anyone who wants to improve their communication skills. She has my full confidence, gratitude and trust. Anyone who has the opportunity to work with Rachael as a coach or director is in the best of hands." - Lori Joachim Frederics, Owner and Voice Teacher, Bergen Bel Canto Studio

Dramaturgy

"I directed Max Frisch’s The Firebugs... When I discovered that Rachael was proficient in German, loved Dramaturgy, and had worked extensively on The Firebugsfor her undergraduate German program, well, I nearly fainted.  She took on the post as Dramaturg, translated line by line to compare the original with the translation, detail German implications in forms of address (surprisingly as critical as in Shakespeare), spot nuances of religious references, and draw our attention to the colloquial meaning of the characters’ names.  The most significant aspect of her work was that she made it all applicable to our process as artists.   Our Chair is an accomplished Dramaturg and he was impressed with her work so much that he took her on as a protégé." - Monica Hayes, Head of Performance, The University of Southern Mississippi