Rachel Karafistan

photo: Mark Garner - Captivation
photo: Tomek szlufik

Rachel Karafistan PhD:
Artistic Director, actor, composer (she / her)

Rachel is an award winning British performer, teacher, academic and director. After falling in love with third theatre and Odin Teatret at the age of eleven, Rachel embraced the potential and autonomy of devised performance. Her teachers include Frankie Armstrong, Marcello Magni, Venice Manley, Linda Wise & Enrique Pardo (Roy Hart Theatre), Philippe Gaulier, Kathryn Hunter and Roberta Carreri (Odin Teatret). She also trained with renowned Bulgarian singer Kalinka Vulcheva (soloist with Les Mysteres de Voix Bulgares).

Rachel is the co-founder (with her partner and long-term Blue Man, Kuba Pierzchalski) of Cosmino Productions and has a repertoire of original performances spanning three decades. Rachel has also performed alongside Kathryn Hunter in ‘Yerma’ at the Arcola Theatre, London and was an actor with internationally acclaimed Polish company, Teatr Biuro Podróży. Her PhD research into Shamanic dimensions within contemporary theatre practice saw her collaborate on a series of workshops with ‘Way of Wyrd’ and ‘Way of the Actor’ author, Brian Bates. Rachel is also a trained Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Hypnotherapist which informs both her teaching and devising practice. She is the founder of Beinthework (Berlin International Theatre Workshops) which has hosted work by internationally renowned theatre practitioners in Berlin since 2009. Rachel has always placed student experience at the very centre of her teaching, facilitating events such as the student led Open Wide International Theatre Festival and the Weekend Workshop Programme both held at Bretton Hall, University of Leeds. Rachel has directed for Greenwich Theatre, East 15 Acting School, Northampton and Leeds Universities and was director in residence for Salzburg Landestheater, Austria. Rachel has held posts at Manchester Metropolitan and Leeds Universities, Rose Bruford College and was External Examiner on the Physical Theatre & Acting BA at East 15 Acting School, UK. Rachel is Pedagogical Co-Director of the DTAP and ADP programmes at Arthaus.Berlin International Postgraduate School.

Rachel is relieved that after so many years of making and teaching theatre, it is still the greatest thrill imaginable.