Check out my comedy reels! Long vs. Short version!
Check out my comedy reels! Long vs. Short version!
We are barely 3 weeks in to 2019 and it has already been very exciting!
1) Attended the hilarious cast & crew screening of Tumble Dry – can’t wait for this puppy to hit festivals!
2) Was awarded the Denovan Residency at the Duplex to develop our raunchy adult british panto for Xmas 2019 (we also did a successful staged reading of this in December)!
3) Our pilot of Dead Shot Mary became a finalist in the Filmatic Pitchnow Screenplay Competition!
4) I made a new reel, check ‘er out here!
Eeeeekkkk! So excited for the premiere of Tumble Dry, a hilarious comedic short where I play one of Gary’s online dating mis-matches…. check out this fun lil’ teaser opposite the fabulous Jacob A. Ware.
I had a wonderful summer playing the role of Nina Shumin in Eliza Bent’s Chekovian riff, The Beyoncé. We had great crowds and some fabulous reviews!
“5 stars. An absolute treat…The world created by Bent and director Stephen Kaliski is built with love…Bent so skillfully tickles the audience with her witty banter. It’s irresistible, and poignant exactly where it needs to be…One feels, by the end of the play, that all roads led to where Nadia ends up standing. The prose gifted to her by Bent is so pure and spell-binding that the story points not to Nadia’s decision, but to the power that lies in committing oneself to a path, and living entirely for the moment as it comes.” -Ben Odom, Plays to See
“Ms. Bent’s work has a cadence that makes you think and ponder the balance between self and selfish. I have thought a lot on this subject since seeing this play. If you get a chance go
check out this profound piece of work.” -Suzanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicles
In late April, I wrapped a super fun lead role in “Tumble Dry” written by Gabe Waldman and directed by Stephen Riscica and Delia Kelly. The film examines online dating and I play an unhinged suitor, Nicole, opposite the wonderful Jacob A. Ware. Here’s a screen grab of one of my close ups, Mr. DeMille!
I’m also gearing up to for a super summer show with my theatre company, Adjusted Realists. Here’s a little blurb: Nodding to Queen Bey but based on the Anton Chekhov story “The Fiancée,” The Beyoncé is a razor sharp and deeply personal coming-of-age conundrum produced by Adjusted Realists (Gluten!, Chickens in the Yard).
With her wedding around the corner, Nadia is terrified to discover that her heart doesn’t want what it obviously should want: a decent husband and a stable, small town family life. She instead fantasizes about running off to the bright lights of the big city, immersing in counterculture, and leaving her family to fend for their own little existences. Is this a selfish daydream or a full-body call to adventure that must be answered?
Time Out New York has called playwright Eliza Bent (Toilet Fire, Aloha Aloha) “this generation’s answer to Amy Sedaris: frank, weird and immensely likable,” and The New York Times describes her work as at once “droll and thought provoking” and “irresistibly raucous and impassioned.” This next entry in her increasingly vital repertoire of social satire promises to be one of the must-see hits of the summer. I’ll play Nina’s mother, Nadia.
And in other news, Dead Shot Mary LIVES! My husband Robert K. Benson wrote a pilot of my solo show which has been making the TV Pilot screenwriting competition circuit. He’s bagged a quarter finalist title with ScreenCraft , a semi finalist spot with Stage32 and made it to the final round of the inaugural Episodic Lab with the Orchard Project. Anyone wanna produce this puppy?
I play Detective Lisa in the hit action comedy Detective Chinatown 2, last week it was the #2 grossing film worldwide, just under Black Panther. You can also catch me makin’ out with the pizza boy in the first scene of Jessica Jones Season 2! I also had a wonderful time playing the title role in a February reading of Margie Ditches the Expandable Pig by the fabulous Robin Rice!
It’s been a lovely and busy spring and summer with a bunch of developmental readings, auditions, call backs and an exciting Netflix shoot we can talk about in 2018! I was also lucky enough to remount Dead Shot Mary at the beautiful Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill, NY in June. In other news, my theatre company Adjusted Realists received a wonderful NY Times write up about our production of Chickens in the Yard at Brooklyn’s JACK. I also have a short film in the works called Wheels Up (written by husband Robert K. Benson and bestie Duane Tollison, to be directed by Michael Swartz) that I will Executive Produce and appear in. So far the script has received an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Artists Alliance Short Screenplay Contest and we are still awaiting other competition results. Roll on autumn!
I was extremely honored to be invited to perform Dead Shot Mary for the Women Inspiring Women conference by Police Commissioner James O’Neill for International Women’s Day on Wednesday March 8th. It was a great day with phenomenal speakers including Gayle King and I was able to share Mary’s story with 800 women from the NYPD.
Professionally, 2016 was a great year with the success of Dead Shot Mary and lots of awesome callbacks. The year ended with this fun holiday video with yours truly as Mrs. Claus (check that off the bucket list!) from my friends at The Key of Awesome lauding all the awesome things about 2016 (despite everything else). Watch it here.
I kicked off the year with Lady Business, a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood in The Green Room at New World Stages utilizing a reading of The Taming by Lauren Gunderson and featuring live music by the fabulous Jenson Smith. We were able to raise nearly $900 for the cause and I got to work with wonderful director Illana Stein and fellow fantastic cast mates Deanna McGovern, Nike Kadri and Monica Jones. See photos below. Here’s to trying to make the world a better place through art in 2017!
We are half way through are incredible run of Dead Shot Mary! We have had some glowing reviews and sold out houses.
Read our fantastic feature in THE NEW YORK TIMES here.
Read a lovely article in my home town newspaper, The Racine Journal Times here.
“Rachel McPhee gives a remarkable and transcendent performance as Mary Shanley, completely embodying the brash and no-frills gutsy woman who defied the norm to become one of the most famous female law enforcement employees. McPhee was born to play this role; she holds nothing back, she is bare and honest and completely captivating to watch. A wonderful actress with superior control and ownership of her stage, she tenderly brings to the forefront a real insight into Shanley’s upbringing and childhood hardships, and what it was like to be a strong, rough-around-the-edges, brave woman in the 1930’s.The script, written by Robert K. Benson, is both thoughtful and relevant.”- Stage Buddy, full review here.
“The ebb and flow of Detective Shanley’s emotional crisis is well rendered in the imaginative script by Robert Benson, and commendably delivered in a very skilled performance by veteran actor Rachel McPhee. The theater is small and cramped, but this hardly distracts from a profoundly absorbing and stimulating experience. I highly recommend Dead Shot Mary, particularly for those capable of grappling with some of life’s harshest realities.” – Plays to See, full review here.
” While the play feels unstructured at first, the story slowly knits together until we find ourselves waiting with bated breath to find out how it ends.That effect is the result of an extraordinary performance by Rachel McPhee, whose remarkable vulnerability onstage excuses every one of Mary’s imperfections. At first in her recital, Mary exhibits some defensiveness about why she wanted to be a cop, citing better wages and other flippant excuses, but that quickly peels away as we learn how she came to be the way she is. And while there are a few segments about her childhood, the play resists the impulse to explain away why Mary became Mary with some sort of clever anecdote.”- Chargedfm.com, full review here.
“Dead Shot Mary is a special show. When you find an actress who can embody the real person, it’s as if you’ve struck gold. Rachel McPhee was that. McPhee captured the essence of the women with a tough exterior but a heart of gold.”- Theater in the Now, full review here. Interview here.
“Attention Acting Aficionados: Hie yourselves to The Bridge Theatre at Shetler Studios to see ‘Dead Shot Mary.’ Rachel McPhee’s bravura performance as Mary is not to be missed…The innovative play was written by Robert K. Benson; the skillful director is Stephen Kaliski.”- Theater Pizazz, full review here.
“The playwright has done a splendid job of capturing her life, and Ms. McPhee’s performance is spot-on, including the perfectly intoned New York City working class speech patterns and rhythms she uses. Under Stephen Kaliski’s direction, she is constantly in motion, taking us with her as she reenacts some of her exploits…All of the elements come together to paint a perfect portrait of this ordinary and yet remarkable woman.” – Talkin’ Broadway, full review here.
“The captivating and must-see life story of a New York hero you’ve never heard of…Performed with finespun gusto by Rachel McPhee… McPhee’s performance is so delightful minor faults are easy to forgive…Kaliski makes wonderful use of the stage and of Kyu Shin’s set design…’Dead Shot Mary’ is a must-see for history buffs and gender studies experts alike.” – Theatre is Easy (Best Bet), full review here.
“Rachel McPhee delivers a captivating and heartfelt performance.”- Thearescene.net, full review here.