As Wendy lies in her bed, beginning to fall asleep, she hears the window creak. A boy dressed in green tights flies over her head, trying to reconnect with his shadow. He sprinkles fairy dust over her head, and she finds herself flying over the audiences of Chicago.
For Abigail Allwein, the chance to play “Wendy” in Emerald City Theatre’s touring production of “Peter Pan” was a great way to begin her young career.
During her college years, Allwein was frequently in the spotlight, performing in theater productions and singing in events hosted by the music department. With so many opportunities to get involved, she found herself more than prepared when she left the Hoosier state.
“I sought to be involved in as many performance opportunities as I possibly could,” she said. “Since HU is a smaller university, I had many opportunities to develop my acting skills. Compared to other people I have seen from other schools, the many performance opportunities make HU a great place to receive acting training.”
Through her courses in the theater department, she found professors who took an interest in her success. Whether she was taking the musical theater dance class or participating in festivals with scene partners for competitive purposes, her professors continued to challenge her to step outside her comfort zone.
“I learned so much from my acting professors,” she said. “The professors at HU are an incredible asset and have a drive to see their students succeed. They place high, industry appropriate expectations on all their students. They make themselves available for guidance far past graduation.”
After Huntington, Allwein immediately found opportunities to perform regionally. After a role in Bloomington, Ind. ended, she moved to Chicago and found work touring with Emerald City Theatre’s production. Once the tour of “Peter Pan” ended, she married and relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. Living in a large and vibrant regional theater district, she found plenty of opportunities to continue acting.
“I found an agent straight out of the gate at Docherty Agency in Cleveland,” she said. “I’ve been in a Bed Bath and Beyond print advertisement and shot a local commercial promoting health care for a Cleveland-based hospital. I also worked at a professional theater in Akron, Ohio, in the production, ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.”
After making a decision to promote herself through social media, she received a phone call from a music agency executive from Landau Music looking for a female lead vocalist to perform in their Top 40 hits show on their line of cruise ships.
“The talent agent came across my YouTube channel and asked me to send him a video demo,” she said. “You have to know how to market yourself in this business.”
Allwein later worked as a costume designer for Sugar Creek Symphony and Song in Illinois. "Costuming was a skill I learned (at Huntington) and It has been a blessing to have another specialty to fill the spaces that inevitably come between performance opportunities," she said. At Sugar Creeek, she worked under a manager who created costumes for Cirque Du Soleil, so it was another great learning opportunity.
In 2012, Allwein relocated to Philadelphia with her husband to further establish her career there. Her future plans are to live between Philadelphia and New York City and pursue performance opportunities in both metropolitan areas.
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