NDSU Grad Plays Understudy Role in Minneapolis Theatre Production

NDSU grad Abigail Walker is in this year’s production of How the Grinch Stole Christmas with Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) in Minneapolis. Her role in the production is as an understudy for Grandma Who, and she is also an understudy for other Who women.

Walker worked with Children’s Theatre Company in her senior year of high school on their production of The Wizard of Oz, but this is her first performance with them as an adult. “I would love to keep working with CTC,” she said. “The theatre scene in the Twin Cities is so awesome.” Eventually, she’d like to move out to the East Coast and get involved in theatre there. Her dream career would be to live in New York City and perform on Broadway, but for now she enjoys what she is doing in the Twin Cities.

A typical day in rehearsal at CTC is around ten hours. “I get to sit there and observe them rehearsing and then I write down all my blocking and learn my roles on my own,” said Walker. Once the show opens, she’ll have understudy rehearsals every day between performances so that she is ready to step in as an understudy for any of the roles she is responsible for at a moment’s notice.

Walker graduated from NDSU in 2020 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, and she acted in several plays and musicals before being cast in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Acting is a demanding profession, and she thinks that her time at NDSU set her up well for her career. “Our rehearsals are ten hours a day six days a week, and getting used to that in college is definitely really helpful in the real world,” she said.

The whole theatre program helped Walker prepare for her career, but she remembers Dance Conservatory as her favorite class. “We had to dance Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 a.m.,” she said. “That was really helpful to build up all the stamina needed for the roles I have now.” She also fondly remembers her favorite professor Jess Jung, who was always there for her through any tough times she had in the program.

For a theatre student who hopes to one day be in her position, Walker’s best piece of advice is not to give up on their dreams. “Don’t stop auditioning! It’s so easy to want to give up on acting because it’s a lot of rejection…but you’re going to get cast in a show that’s perfect for you eventually.”

How the Grinch Stole Christmas will run at Children’s Theatre Company from Nov. 7th, 2023, to Jan. 7th, 2024. Tickets are available for purchase on their website or by calling the CTC ticket office.

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