Bard on the Beach relies on an incredible team of staff, Company members, and volunteers to help put on our Festival every summer. We are so excited to continue our People of Bard series, which will spotlight just some of the wonderful individuals who make our work possible. If you missed our last spotlight on Sales and Analytics Specialist Veronica Maynard, you can read it here.

This week, we’re excited to be highlighting a superstar member of our Production team, Rachel E. Ross! Rachel joined Bard last Season as a member of our Production Crew, and we were lucky enough to have them return this summer as one of our Assistant Head Electricians and the Venue Technician for Henry V. We’re so happy to have Rachel as part of the team, and we’re thrilled to be speaking with them today.

Rachel standing in front of the common area for the Site and Production Crew at Sen̓áḵw/Vanier Park.

Tell us a little bit about your role and journey at Bard! 
This year I was excited to step into the roles of Assistant Head Electrician as well as Venue Technician for Henry V. After joining the Bard Production team last Season, I was really keen on getting more involved in the lighting side of things. My role has me starting in the spring with the rest of the Production Crew to get everything set up and to transform the tents into fully functioning theatres. For me, that includes working to hang and focus the lights, support the lighting designers, and as the venue tech, running the lights and sound each night for Henry V.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 
I love getting to work on the technical elements that are unique to each show and doing new things that I’ve never done before. For example, there’s a confetti cannon that shoots out debris in Julius Caesar, and I had to make a trigger for it so that it could be set off from backstage. It was housed in an Altoids tin with a little red button on the side, which looked very whimsical, even if it wasn’t going to be seen onstage. I had a lot of fun with that one.

What were you looking forward to most this Season?
What I looked forward to the most was getting to be on site every day during the run of Henry V. Last Season my work was always done when there wasn’t a show happening – setting up before opening, the changeover between shows, etc. But this year I got to stick around after they opened! It was wonderful getting to come to work each night with such a great group of actors and the rest of the backstage team to put on a fantastic show.

Do you have a favourite memory from past Seasons at Bard? 
Since last year was my first year at Bard, the Closing Night of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was magical. It was really special getting to see the show again after having first seen it on Opening Night, and I loved being able to celebrate such a successful comeback Season with all the amazing people I worked with that year.

When you aren’t helping to put on a Festival, what do you like to do in the summer?
Go to the beach! I’m from Calgary where we don’t have any beaches (well, except for Sandy Beach, which is actually a very rocky shore on the riverbank, so that’s pretty misleading). My favourite is Third Beach, but I also love Spanish Banks and Jericho. I always like to find time to go swimming, hang out with friends, or just relax and read. And actually, I’ve read the most books this summer since I was in university!


Thanks so much for chatting with us, Rachel! Be sure to stay tuned for more instalments of our People of Bard series in the weeks to come.