It’s tempting to say that audiences at Theatre Horizon know Rachel Camp. They’ve certainly met her in many different guises. The 31-year-old actor (and King of Prussia native) has appeared at the Norristown venue nearly a dozen times in her professional career, playing everything from the Baker’s Wife in Sondheim’s Into the Woods to gullible rookie cop Dawn in Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero. She earned a Barrymore Award for her performance there as one of the precocious kiddos in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.
Yet this week, Camp will return to the Theatre Horizon stage in her most revealing role to date: herself. An Evening with Rachel Camp, her unassumingly titled solo cabaret debut, runs May 9 through 12, 2019.
Building a home
“I consider Theatre Horizon one of my artistic homes,” Camp said in an interview last month, as she busily prepared the material for her concert. “Still, when they approached about putting a show like this together, I had to think about what I wanted to say with the piece.”
Camp has a lot of experience to draw from. Since graduating from Montclair State University in New Jersey nine years ago, she has worked on stage consistently, appearing at Walnut Street Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, 1812 Productions, and Philadelphia Artists’ Collective. Along the way, she picked up five individual Barrymore nominations and was a finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist in 2017.
Still, after starring in Michael Hollinger’s Red Herring at Act II Playhouse last season—a performance that netted her one of those many Barrymore nominations—she decided to take a step back from acting and concentrate on other passions.
Practicing outside the box
Camp worked as an assistant director on one show and choreographed another, and appeared in the theater/opera hybrid Dito and Aeneas: Two Queens, One Night, part of Opera Philadelphia’s O18 Festival. On a personal note, she reinforced her commitment to social issues and became chair of Theatre Philadelphia’s Barrymore Oversight Committee.
“For me, it was about discovering what other aspects of this career might be a good fit for me,” she said. Although she hasn’t stayed away from performing—she returned to the stage in February in The Bridges of Madison County at PTC—she has an eye toward the future and whatever it might bring.
She will bring that curiosity and searching spirit to her Theatre Horizon engagement. She remains tight-lipped about what material will be included—not out of secrecy, she says, but mostly because she hadn’t finalized the program when we spoke. “It’s evolving, and there’s a lot I want to consider,” she said.
When asked what she hoped audiences would take away from the concert, Camp replied in her typically open and optimistic way: “I hope people will get a better sense of who I am and what is important to me. In a way, I feel like I am inviting an audience into my living room, just on a slightly bigger scale.”
Theatre Horizon presents An Evening with Rachel Camp at 401 DeKalb Street in Norristown, Pennsylvania, from May 9 through 12. Tickets ($2 to 31) can be purchased online.