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Spotlight on ‘Repossessed’ actor Rachel Burttram


Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance opens its 25th consecutive season with the world premiere of Repossessed, playwright Greg Lam’s New Play Contest winner in 2017. Headlining Director Stephen Hooper’s all-star cast is the incomparable Rachel Burttram.

Whether comedic or dramatic, Burttram has the chops to handle any role that comes her way. After all, she’s been working in regional theater for more than 20 years. She has shared the boards with the legendary Carol Lawrence and Tony-nominated Daniel Sunjata. Her stage work has been seen across the country – in venues ranging from the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville in Kentucky, Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor, Maine (where she received rave reviews for her fierce, feisty, angry and determined portrayal of a shattered Afghan war vet in Ugly Lies the Bone), Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, New York (where she appeared in Mark St. Germaine’s romantic comedy Dancing Lessons), The Hippodrome Theatre in Gainesville, Florida, Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida, Gloucester Stage in Massachusetts, Barnstormers’ Theatre in New Hampshire, City Equity in Alabama, Geva Theatre, and various stages in New York City, including the prestigious Actors’ Studio.

Southwest Florida theater-goers know Burttram from performances spanning a period of sixteen years as a Florida Repertory Theatre ensemble member. Last season, she appeared in not one, but two Florida Rep productions: Disgraced and Outside Mullingar, a romantic comedy set in the hinterland of Westmeath County, Ireland. Regarding her performance in Outside Mullingar, this reviewer stated, “Enough good cannot be said about Burttram’s performance. Before even uttering a word, Burttram encapsulates the full and rich panoply of her character’s emotions and motivations with the daggers she emits from her eyes. They fix, hold and skewer Anthony Reilly while simultaneously betraying the yearning she feels for his embrace (though she knows full well that her love may forever go unrequited). Burttram routinely amazes audiences with moving renditions of deep and complex characters (like Carrie Berniers in the Lillian Hellman classic, Toys in the Attic). But she’s upped the ante in Outside Mullingar, where she must convey the vulnerability and passion of decades-long desire while maintaining the emotional armor needed to protect her heart from the real possibility of even more rejection and disappointment.”

Prior to her performance in Outside Mullingar, Rachel was seen in the ArtStage Studio Theatre in Doublewide. Other Florida Rep appearances include Florida Rep’s nationally-acclaimed production of The House of Leaves, Mark St. Germain’s Best of Enemies, Ralph’s mother in Jean Sheperd’s good-natured holiday play, A Christmas Story, Nell in the world premiere of Split in Three, Mary Jo in Dividing the Estate, Betsy/Lindsey in Clybourne Park, Brooke in Other Desert Cities, Ruth in Miracle on 34th Street and Sally in Talley’s Folly.

Rachel’s Theatre Conspiracy appearances include productions of Amy and David Sedaris’ The Book of Liz and the Lillian Hellman classic Toys in the Attic.

Although the bulk of Rachel’s experience is in theater, she is no stranger to film. Her screen work includes three independent films (Emma’s Fine, World Traveler, Alchemy) and television (Burn Notice), along with national and regional commercials.

Rachel apprenticed through the Actors’ Theatre of Louisville Acting and received her Bachelor’s degree in theatre from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Among her many accolades, Rachel is the recipient of Florida Weekly’s Best Actress 2013 and was nominated for the Angel of the Arts award for Performance Artist of the Year in 2009, Broadway “World’s Best Actress in a Play 2012 – Central NY” for Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune at Ithaca’s Kitchen Theatre, and Broadway “World’s Best Actress in a Play 2013 SW Florida” for Other Desert Cities.

“For me it’s about the process,” Rachel told Gulfshore Business journalist Michael Korb in an interview for his January, 2016 piece, “Passion Players: The thespians of Southwest Florida have their work cut out for them.”

“It is a beautiful, wonderful thing when you share a human experience and are able to create something. It’s all about the tinkering. I love to solve the puzzle of a script. It’s the exploration of human behavior and relationships. Performances are great, but I love being in a rehearsal room with other actors and the director and stage manager.”

Rachel is also an Arts Administrator. In that capacity, she has served as an Associate Director, Director of Audience Development, Company Manager, Director of Education, Box Office Manager, and Fundraising Research, Community Programs Director and mentor. She has developed programs for theaters around the country for under-served populations.

Rachel is also a teaching artist and has taught classes and workshops for a variety of populations all over the country with her husband and fellow theatre artist, Brendan Powers, who starred with her in Outside Mullingar. She has recently completed four years of service as the Production Manager at ArtFest Fort Myers.

Rachel is the creator of Welcome to the Green Room, a resource for actors, singers and performing artists to share ideas and tips for a healthy lifestyle on a budget. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and an honorary member of the NAACP.

For more on Rachel, please visit

August 7, 2018.


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