All the World’s a Stage for Rachel Maish
By Krisann Valdez
Photo by Anissa Rowe
A year ago, Rachel Maish was on the verge of graduating from the theater program at Glendale Community College with nowhere to go. The state universities were too expensive for a girl hoping to avoid loans.
“I went to promote GCC at the Thespian Conference for high school students interested in theater,” says Maish. “The booth next to us was GCU. I asked what they were doing there, considering they didn’t have a theater program. That’s when they informed me they were starting one.”
She auditioned for the theater scholarship, received it and signed up for fall semester classes. Maish jumped in head first with roles in GCU’s All in the Timing, Comedy of Errors, and now the latest play The Frogs.
Her love for theater was born in her first year of high school when she landed the main role in the fall play Of Poems, Youth, and Spring. Maish was a natural and her teacher pushed her to develop it.
“My theater teacher, Mrs. Gartland, inspired me,” she says. “Before she moved away, I volunteered my time for all her shows. I still keep in contact with her today.”
After graduation, Maish hopes to pursue her acting career, while inspiring young adults, like Mrs. Gartland inspired her. She will continue to audition for roles, but plans to teach as well.
“I love teaching theater too,” she says. “It’s fun to watch others get excited about theater and inspire them to reach their dreams, even if I don’t ever reach mine.”
Of course, Maish’s aspires to a career as a lead in off-Broadway shows, but she has a realistic viewpoint on the profession. It’s hard to make it as a professional actress, no matter how talented you are.
And Maish is talented. Last year, at GCC, she won first place in the “Maricopa Community College Artist of Promise Contest.”
“The life of theater is my dream,” she says. “There is something about having an audience. You can feel the audience’s reaction, and you feed off their energy. “
The Frogs will be a completely new experience for Maish.
After all, the theater students are taking the saying “all the world’s a stage” in a very literal sense. The upcoming play will take the actors out of Ethington Theater and into GCU’s pool.
Maish plays five parts in the play The Frogs, including the chorus.
“I am excited for opening weekend. This is my first musical since sophomore year in high school,” she says. “You have no idea how hard it is to sing, dance and act in the pool.”
It is also her first time working with College of Fine Arts and Production Dean Claude Pensis.
“His passion for the program will ensure its’ success,” she says. “He definitely leads students and helps them better themselves as actors.”
She promises that theater will always play an instrumental part in her life, whether in the classroom with students or on the stage with fellow actors.
Performances of The Frogs are April 1-3 and April 8-10, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.