| Garth Helm|
| 1969 (age 45–46)Columbia, Missouri, U.S.|
Theatre Director, Choreographer, Dancer
Rachel Rockwell is an American theater director, choreographer and performer. She graduated from the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (Cincinnati) and has a BFA in Theater Performance from the University of Evansville (IN). She moved to Chicago in 1991 and began performing and choreographing. She has appeared on Broadway in Mamma Mia! and the national tours of Mamma Mia! (Equity Dance Captain); and Harold Prince’s Showboat. In 2010, she was named “Best Director” by Chicago Magazine. and Chicagoan of the Year: Theater 2012 by the Chicago Tribune. In July 2014, Goodman Theatre, in association with Liza Lerner and Kevin McCollum, produced the first major revival of Brigadoon in two decades—directed and choreographed by Rockwell, who, with Brian Hill, updated the book, with permission from the Lerner and Loewe estates. In his New York Times review, Charles Isherwood called her production "a first-class revival that boasts an infectious buoyancy of spirit and a welcome absence of postmodern flourishes."
Rachel Rockwell Wikipedia
Rockwell was born Natalie Rachel Heyde, in Columbia, Missouri (1969). She is the daughter of songwriter/teacher Gary Heyde (aka novelist Austin Gary) and actress/teacher Glory (Kissel) Heyde. Her brother is Jeremy Spencer (Heyde), drummer for the heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch. She is married to Broadway sound designer Garth Helm. They have a son, Jake.
Rockwell grew up in Oakland City (IN) and Boonville, Indiana. Beginning at seven, she studied dance with Ricki Smith Newman, Sylvia Watters and Evansville Dance Theater. At thirteen, she won a scholarship to study ballet at the National Academy of Arts in Champaign, IL. In 1993, she directed her first musical, Tintypes, at the New Harmony Theater (IN). After college, she moved to Chicago. A triple-threat performer, Rockwell was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actress in a review (And The World Goes 'Round) (2001); and Best Supporting Actress in a musical for The Pajama Game (2004).
As a choreographer, she was nominated for Joseph Jefferson Awards for The King & I (2007) and A Chorus Line (2011). As a director, she received Jeff Award nominations for Miss Saigon (2009); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee—Best Musical (2009); Ragtime (2010) and 42nd Street (2011). For her acclaimed Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre production of Ragtime (11 Jeff nominations and seven awards), she received the Joseph Jefferson Award as Best Director of a musical. As Director, Jeff Award nominations (2012) for Best Director and Best Musical: The Sound of Music and Sweeney Todd at Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre; and Best Play: Enron at Timeline Theatre Company. In 2013, her production of "Oliver!" received a Jeff nomination for Best Musical. In 2014, she received Jeff Award nominations (Director, Choreography and Best Musical) for the revival of Brigadoon at The Goodman Theatre and Les Miserables at Drury Lane Oakbrook. Her production of Brigadoon was named Best Musical and she was named Best Choreographer for that production.
She has directed notable Children’s Theatre productions at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST)—including the premieres of The Emperor’s New Clothes (2010); The Adventures of Pinocchio (2011); (Director & Adapter) Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew (2012)—and Disney’s Beauty & The Beast (2012) and "Shrek" (2013). At CST, she also choreographed productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet, and Measure For Measure. At Timeline Theatre Company, she directed the regional premier of Enron (2012). Since the mid-nineties, Rockwell has directed and choreographed dozens of productions for such theaters as: Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook, Marriott Theatre Lincolnshire, Paramount Theatre, Noble Fool Theatricals, Fox Valley Repertory, Apple Tree, The Little Theatre on the Square, SIU Summer Theatre and McCleod Summer Playhouse.