Rachel McVay (Company Member)

Classically trained by the RSC and RADA, with a B.F.A. in Theatre & Dance, Rachel has worked with theatres across the country, performing in Shakespeare to Chekhov, and has made her mark as a dynamic stunt woman/choreographer/burlesque dancer in both theatre and film. With an affinity for Shakespeare and Tarantino films, Rachel's proudest roles include Ophelia in Hamlet, the lead in a stylized film noir, Requiem for an Assassin, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, and the lead in Broken Nails, a short film in which she plays a boxer/exotic dancer who struggles with overcoming cancer. She looks forward to continuing her invigorating theatre & film career in working with true visionaries. Look for her in Kill Bill 3!

Getting To Know... Rachel

Tell us about a transformative educational experience. 


My Shakespeare Study Abroad in Stratford was truly life-changing. It made me yearn to delve into classical theatre and explore the nuances and intricacies that lie within it. Exposure to world-class training with the RSC faculty, having the pleasure of seeing the RSC actors in 4 repertory shows, and soaking up as much Shakespearean history as I could was affecting and moving. This experience is a major proponent for applying for grad schools centered around a classical conservatory approach. I want more. 




 What about transformative professional experiences? 


A few roles come to mind, for I felt strong transformation with Beatrice in Much Ado, Vivienne in The Lady of Shalott, and Cissy in the short film, Broken Nails. All 3 pushed my limits beyond measure, and helped me see a world of difference, existing within my body and my mind, through their eyes. Writing, directing, and acting in my first short film has been one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences to date. It felt like a release of my psyche, my soul unleashing. I can't wait to finish post-production and fully free it. 



Why I do what I do... 


...I'm an artist intent on evoking a sense of wonder and inspiration from my audience. I have fallen addicted to storytelling, creating art that moves me, makes me feel alive and purposeful. I can't imagine doing anything else in life and feeling truly happy. Acting chose me. 



What about ECT inspires you? 


I feel truly seen and heard when I'm at ECT. I feel like my voice is valued, appreciated, and supported. It's an artistic home in every sense of the term, a collaborative inspiring environment. Even taking 2 years off to focus on film work, it feels like we've picked up where we left off...in the best ways. 



Where have you traveled? Where would you like to visit? 


Outside of the US, I've studied abroad in Stratford and London, and I've visited Mexico a couple of times, one of which being a cruise. I'd adore going to Italy, Greece, Paris, and Sydney, Australia to see the famous Opera House and harbor. 



My favorite "day-off" event would be... 


...somewhere by the water: wine-tasting overlooking the ocean, a cappuccino in a museum garden, hiking in nature, speedboat racing/tubing, bonfire on the beach with S'mores, moonlit poetry, an outdoor screening of anything Tarantino



If I had one million dollars I would... 


...treat myself to a B&B tour throughout Europe, including vineyards, and build my castle in the woods in which to live in peaceful harmony the rest of my days. 



Did you know... 


...my front teeth got knocked out on Halloween night 2013 while working a haunted house. My understudy stuntman scene partner lied about his stunt abilities and knocked my teeth straight out. And I still had to go on the rest of the night since it was Halloween, the whole night the haunted house is centered around!  


And in my burlesque dancing days, I danced for Leo DiCaprio...yep... and Juliette Lewis.

Rachel's Favorites


  1. Wine!
  2. Coffee!
  3. Monkeybread w/ Earl Grey tea


  1. Hiking
  2. Dancing
  3. ATVs


  1. Any Shakespeare play
  2. The Artist's Way


  1. Solitaire
  2. Elevator (improv game)
  3. Mafia (camp game)

TV Series

  1. Saved By The Bell
  2. Sex & The City
  3. Westworld


  1. Organization/making things look beautiful
  2. Choreography
  3. Teaching
  4. Writing
  5. Stunts

Mentors/Role Models

  1. My stepdad
  2. DaJuan Johnson
  3. Dallas Travers
  4. Every artist who has affected me


  1. Nature Hikes
  2. Crossword
  3. Drinking Wine
  4. Meditation
  5. Watching live theatre & dance
  6. writing poetry
  7. Playing with dogs & cats that aren't mine

Rachel's 50 Year Time-Capsule

  • Shakespeare anthology
  • My film's script
  • My crown earrings
  • Ballet slippers
  • My mom's laugh
  • Andrew Atroshenko "Fiery Dance" painting
  • My acting reel
  • My white vintage fascinator
  • Photo album of my Shakespeare study abroad