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Rachel McCurdy: Sharing Redemption through the Stage

Alumni Rachel McCurdy
Rachel McCurdy ’15

Rachel McCurdy (Performance Studies ’15) finds herself playing several roles. When she is not at home taking care of her three young children, she is splitting her time between Life Options Clinic in Pace, Florida, and West Florida Home Education Support League (WFHESL). Through these organizations, she has a platform to display Christ and use her love of drama and theater.

Rachel discovered her love for theater during high school, where she was active in a local community theater. “It was there I learned that most local theater as an entity, by and large, has been tragically usurped by emptiness at best and immorality at worst,” she said. “I wanted to be a part of a movement to help redeem this genre of entertainment.”

Because Rachel deeply loved the Lord and performance, she wanted to expand her passion further, so she decided to earn a degree in performance studies at PCC. “It was a local Christian alternative that was excellent and affordable,” she said. “I knew I could not keep my conscience intact studying the same art form at a secular university. And this was the perfect option!”

It was while attending the College that she flourished and gained the confidence needed to pursue performing arts. “PCC’s performance studies degree prepared me in every way for the role of artistic director for my students,” she explained. “I not only learned how to better myself personally in my acting skills, but also through the directing courses, was able to practice communicating creative ideas to others and then critique and mold the final outcome.”

Rachel McCurdy

As artistic director in conjunction with WFHESL, Rachel McCurdy juggles being production coordinator, costume designer, and prop master. She has directed a multitude of plays such as The Life of George Müller and Little Women, but her favorite play so far has been Pilgrim’s Progress. While not every play she produces is focused on Christian principles, she instills a biblical worldview in each performance to honor Christ and also promote excellence within her students. “I have been told by viewers of our shows that these aren’t just ‘plays put on by kids,’ but truly live-action productions that showcase talent and excellence in every aspect,” Rachel said.

“My favorite part of being an artistic director is forming a relationship with the students and helping them see each other as a team, working towards a common goal,” Rachel said. “I also enjoy pushing people past their comfort zone and helping them achieve new goals. I wanted to offer the homeschool community a place where they could learn how to enter an arena and present themselves with clarity and poise.”

Rachel McCurdy

While Rachel struggled to understand how she would apply her speech classes in her life, she found that they were exactly what she needed for her presentations. They gave her the skills and techniques needed to present well, preparing her for a position as the coordinator and presenter for Life Options Clinic. There, she educates middle and high school students on abstinence in the Santa Rosa County Public Schools.

“One aspect in particular that I find challenging is being unable to mention the why behind the truth that I speak in the public school education system,” Rachel explained. “I tell the students that they have intrinsic value, in and of themselves, but I can’t tell them it is because God made them in His image.”

Rachel uses her positions as a wife, mother, director, coordinator, presenter, and Christian to permeate everything she does. Through her commitment, she hopes to show Christlikeness through her actions and words. “Truth, even unexplained truth, still belongs to God, and it can and will produce fruit,” she said.

Rachel McCurdy is content where God has her, and she still has big dreams for the future. “My goal is to be involved with a production every year,” she said. “Whether that means personally being cast as an actress, volunteering with other local Christian schools or theater communities (which I have already done several times), or directing and producing one myself, I like to imagine my plans are big and extensive but fluid, open to whatever the Lord Himself is currently directing in my life.”

Read more about how God is directing and working through PCC faculty and alumni.

 
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