Rachel Hirshorn’s path to CCBC began in her native state of Michigan. After a less than stellar time in high school, Rachel decided to pull up stakes and move to Maryland. Fortunately, she has family in the Baltimore area, so she wasn’t totally alone when she enrolled in theatre classes at CCBC Essex. After earning her associate’s degree from CCBC in 2001, Rachel transferred to UMBC where she would go on to graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in 2004.
After graduation, Rachel moved to New York City for a while, but she soon decided graduate school was the way for her to go. So, she was accepted into the Master’s of Fine Arts program at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and graduated with her MFA in Acting and Directing in 2010. Since then, Rachel has moved back to NYC where she built up her acting and directing resume with a variety of stage and screen credits.
In the Fall of 2011, Rachel returned to CCBC Essex to direct the highly successful Academic Theatre Production of Melanie Marnich’s moving drama These Shining Lives. Rachel describes the experience as follows: “The student actors were wonderful- very trusting and very ego-free. The play had its world premiere in 2008 at Center Stage in Baltimore. I was delighted to get fellow UMKC alumna [and professional actress] Kelly McAndrew, who played Charlotte in the original production, to work with the CCBC student actors.”
As for her time at CCBC, Rachel says that “I think community college should be required!” It certainly has helped her to shape her career as a professional actress, director, coach, and teacher. Today, Rachel divides her time between Maryland and New York City. She is particularly passionate about live theatre. “We have taken the superficial ‘reality’ [television program] to the extreme. Theatre is ‘truth on the stage’ and that message needs to be taken to all of the people, not just a few.”
True to her word, Rachel has been actively exploring ways to bring performances to “all of the people.” She is the organizer of the new Submit 10 Baltimore event, an informal showcase for Baltimore-area writers to hear their words performed aloud by local actors and performers, and is now the host of Gripe Nite, an open mic for service workers of all stripes. Both events take place at Liam Flynn’s Ale House in Baltimore City.