Rachel deBenedet was born in North Newton, Kansas. Her father, Arlo Kasper, was a professional actor and Head of Drama at Bethel College in Kansas, where her mother was Professor of Voice. Her first live performance was at six years old in Germany, performing a recital. Her family lived in Germany for two years, as her dad was "on the running crew, the backstage crew at [a German] opera house". deBenedet then moved to Paraguay with her family, where they helped with musical theatre productions. Her father currently "directs and designs musicals and operas for semi-professional companies and universities in Paraguay".
- "I did two seasons [at the Music Theatre of Wichita in Kansas] getting my Actors' Equity Association membership candidacy points, then came directly after my second season there. I was here for eight months, and I was working. I worked at Theater Under the Stars in Houston and Paper Mill and places like that and then went on a tour. I left about eight months after I moved here, went on a bus-and-truck tour of Me and My Girl for a year, and then did another tour and then met my now ex-husband and moved to Colorado. I lived for about seven years in Colorado, and I would work in Seattle and TUTS in Houston and Sacramento Music Circus a lot while I lived in Denver. And, then in 1998, I came back here and was here for two weeks and got a Broadway show."
Theatre and acting career
deBenedet made her Broadway debut in the revival of The Sound of Music, where she played one of the nuns. She then appeared in the Roundabout Theatre Company's production of the musical Nine. Other Broadway theatre credits include The Addams Family and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Regional credits include As Bees in Honey Drown and The Secret Garden at the Arvada Center, winning DDCC Awards.
She appeared in the 2007 Philadelphia and New York productions of Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick’s Adrift in Macao, for which she won "Best Actress" at the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theater. The New York Times said, "Ms. de Benedet recalls Marlene Dietrich, only with Joan Crawford's brittle rectangular smile from the Warner Brothers years airbrushed into the mix." deBenedet also performed in the national tour of The Sound Of Music, receiving a Judy Award nomination, and Kiss Me, Kate at the North Shore Music Theatre, garnering IRNE Award nominations.
deBenedet then performed in the musical Turn of the Century in Chicago, Illinois, at the Goodman Theatre. This production ran from September 19, 2008, to November 2, 2008, directed by Tommy Tune.
She currently stars as Paula Abagnale on Broadway in the musical Catch Me If You Can, which opened on April 11, 2011, at the Neil Simon Theatre, after beginning performances in March 2011. For this role, she was nominated for "Best Female Dancer, Broadway" at the 2011 Astaire Awards.
- "Cue & A: Rachel de Benedet", Playbill, March 27, 2011.
- Gans, Andrew. "DIVA TALK: Chatting with Adrift's Rachel de Benedet Plus a Broadway Backwards Preview", playbill.com, February 23, 2007.
- "Kasper will leave Bethel College with a legacy of performance". Bethel College News, May 17, 2006, accessed April 14, 2011
- "Rachel deBenedet". Who's Who. Celebrity Buzz. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
- "York, Daniels, Orbach, de Benedet, Spangler, Racey Work with Tommy Tune on Turn of the Century", Playbill, August 26, 2008.
- Jones, Keneth. "Tune, Elice and Brickman's Turn of the Century Ends in Chicago, Aims for a Future", playbill.com, November 2, 2008.
- "'Catch Me If You Can' Musical Sets Broadway Debut Dates", broadway.com, September 20, 2010.
- "Catch Me If You Can: What Did the Critics Think?", Los Angeles Times, April 11, 2011.
- Broadway.com Staff (April 27, 2011). "Catch Me If You Can, Daniel Radcliffe, Sutton Foster & More Earn Astaire Award Nominations". Broadway.com. Retrieved 27 April 2011.