Rachel is the Artistic Director of Grand Pistachio and she creates original theater for young people utilizing larger-than-life forms of puppetry, mask, and music to explore content centered on migration and the environment. Her work explores the hardships of NYC immigrant families in Layer the Walls, the untapped poetic potential within ourselves in Blown Away By Poetry, and the dangers of sanitation workers in City of Trash.
She has received support from New Victory Theater’s LabWorks, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Jim Henson Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, and ART NY. Her pieces have traveled the US to The 14th St Y, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Zeiterion Theater, Hudson Hall, Arsht Center, Walton Arts Center, Grunin Center, Poway on Stage, Midwest Trust Center, and Bardavon. Rachel was awarded a 2021 NYSCA Individual Artist grant for the development of City of Trash.
Prior to Grand Pistachio, Rachel was the program director of Urban Stages for six years, creating and managing a touring roster that brought over 200 annual productions to NYC libraries and schools. She co-founded Honest Accomplice Theater where she directed The Birds & the Bees: Unabridged, ReconFIGURED, Engineers Not Found, and The Trans Literacy Project. She also co-wrote/directed a video on gender for the NYC Commission on Human Rights’ groundbreaking sexual harassment training. She has taught devising at Brandeis University. MA in Applied Theater: CUNY/SPS, BS in Theater: Northwestern.
“Layer The Walls” (LTW) began as a theater piece for young audiences that toured NYC and national venues. Using shadow puppetry, Bunraku puppets, masks, and toy theater techniques, LTW imagines the proud and perilous histories of Italian, Jewish and Irish immigrants who occupy a Lower East Side tenement apartment at the turn of the century.
If you could break something, what would it be?
Myself: Break a nail biting habit!
Other: Break old history textbooks and make space for more stories!