Member Spotlight | Rachel McConaha

by Allyson Smith

Rachel McConaha is one of the many people who was born and raised in Akron and loves it too much to leave. 

She found her passion in the theater as a student at Firestone High School, although Rachel didn’t like being in the spotlight much. She preferred the technical aspect and stage management. She worked as a stage manager and did “technical theater” as a member of her husband’s theater company, Bang and Clatter Theater, which used to host shows in downtown Akron. Then Rachel worked in banking until she became a stay-at-home mom. 

As someone who was involved in theater and the local arts scene for most of her life, Rachel recognizes how important these things are to our community. 

“You know, you lose touch with the art world and you have to make more money and become a part of corporate America. It’s hard, but I think Akron does a good job of supporting the arts.”

The Devil Strip is a not-for-profit, community-owned news cooperative. We rely on your financial support to make it possible for us to provide coverage of Akron’s artists, musicians, nonprofits and small businesses. As a member, you can help shape the direction of The Devil Strip and of the city.

One of her favorite aspects of local art is the Nightlight Cinema. 

“I’m a huge movie person, and that’s one of the things I miss the most since the pandemic is going to the movies, and especially the Nightlight… I think it was the last place I went before everything was shut down,” she says.

For Rachel, local news, and especially knowing what’s going on in the local arts community, is very important. 

“I’ve always just enjoyed reading about [local] stuff. A lot of times news is depressing or about something overseas or as a nation. I like knowing what’s going on in the community and in the neighborhood [and] what’s going to go on. It’s more helpful to me than other news sources,” she says.

In the future, Rachel wants to work with local shelters and foster animals. Even though she has a couple of older dogs, an older cat, and a guinea pig, in the future, she says, “eventually what I would like to do is own an animal and then have constant fosters. I’d probably want to adopt them all, though — it would be so hard for me.”