Monday, September 5, 2016
Spotlight On...Rachel McPhee
Hometown: Racine, Wisconsin
Education: BA at University of Wisconsin Madison, Post Graduate Degree in Professional Acting from the Drama Studio London
Select Credits: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, “Boardwalk Empire”, “Momsters”, viral Adele parodies with The Key of Awesome, The Pearl Theatre Company, former member of the Bats at The Flea.
Why theater?: My father was a beloved community theatre director in my hometown. The majority of my early childhood was spent in the rehearsal room after school so I guess I didn’t think there was any other career path to follow- still don’t. You could say it’s the family business or that it is in my blood. I honestly can’t imagine that people wouldn’t want to be actors. I love theatre in particular because of the live, anything can happen, one shot nature of it and feeding off the audience’s mood and response.
Who do you play in Dead Shot Mary?: NYPD Detective Mary Shanley nicknamed Dead Shot Mary for her sharp shooting skills.
Tell us about Dead Shot Mary: Dead Shot Mary is based on the incredible true story of Mary Shanley, one of the first women in the NYPD to be made first grade detective during the 1930s. She was a very successful cop and became somewhat of a B-List celebrity for her daring arrests and chases. She also struggled with some demons that we explore in the show.
What is it like being a part of Dead Shot Mary?: It has been an interesting challenge for me because I had never done a solo show prior to this. To rely solely on yourself and your own imagination for inspiration and reactions (with the help of my incredible creative team, of course) has been surprising and rewarding. I also feel honored to portray such a trail blazing lady, especially at this important time in American history when all sorts of glass ceilings are being shattered.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Great comedy, physical theatre, fearless, bold, gutsy, ballsy work and huge choices get me inspired.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Lots of classics: Lady Macbeth, anything in a Sondheim musical, anything by Tennessee Williams.
What’s your favorite showtune?: Right now, probably the entire Hamilton soundtrack. But I’ve always loved Maybe this Time from Cabaret, which is my fave musical.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I’d love to work with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Tyne Daly, Annette Bening, Kathy Bates- basically put me next to any bad-ass woman!
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Christina Hendricks (Hollywood upgrade, right?) and it would be called something along the lines of "Little Miss Bossy: The Rachel McPhee Story."
If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I think I’d love to see Carol Channing in Hello Dolly- I listened to that recording religiously when I played Dolly Levi in High School and I was just in love with her fabulousness and the personality she brought to the role.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: "The Night Of" on HBO. Just binged that baby, John Turturro is transcendent.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Iced coffee. Lots of it.
What’s up next?: In talks to be in a fantasy feature film shooting in 2017.
For more on Dead Shot Mary, visit www.deadshotmary.com. For more on Rachel, visit www.rachelmcphee.com.