Student Focus: Abbigail Markus

May 3, 2021

Name: Abbigail Markus

Major: Performing Arts & Statistics Abbigail Markus

Hometown: Dubuque, Iowa

Planned Graduation Date: May 2022

In addition to Theatre, what are you involved with here at ISU and beyond? Beyond the fabulous things that ISU Theatre has to offer, I'm an avid state gym visitor, a Survivor enthusiast (the CBS show), a rather pathetic intramural softball player, a musical theatre geek, and a nature-loving gal. This summer, I'm looking forward to managing at the local pool in Dubuque, Iowa where I get to "tan" (burn), build up my customer service skills, and serve the amazing residents of Dubuque. I'm also looking forward to being with family and reconnecting.

What theatre projects are you working on right now or have recently completed? This spring I was one of four Producing Facilitators for ISU Theatre's production of On The Horizon. Looking back to what my Sophomore year had in store, I played Annie, a Polish immigrant, in Chasing George Washington. Additionally, I was the Assistant Director for 9 to 5 which was unfortunately shut down with COVID-19. Beyond what the productions have to offer, I've served as an ISU Theatre student representative for the last two years and have loved every moment of it.

What is your favorite thing about your experiences at Iowa State?  There is never a dull moment. The ISU Theatre department and the University do a fine job of supplying endless opportunities for students, creating fun learning experiences, and thus I have some pretty unforgettable memories. Some of my personal favorites at ISU have been working on productions with friends, the talk with Edward Snowden, utilizing the Rec centers and all their services, meeting new people, spending way too many hours on the 3rd floor of Carver, and the many fun and extremely beneficial projects that classes have provided.

Why did you choose the Dept. of Music and Theatre at ISU? Iowa High School Speech Association hosts their All-State festival at ISU every February. Way back in high school, I was able to participate in the festival, and soon after I fell in love with the part of campus. I was curious about what else the University had to offer. After a single visit in October of 2017, three conversations with Brad Dell, Amanda Petefish-Schrag, and my statistics advisor Dawn Walker Chalmers, and a couple of hearty Ames meals, I had my heart set on ISU. As for the Theatre department, I've been involved in Theatre since 6th grade where I was in my first production Oliver. Little 6th-grade pick-pocket Abbigail never imagined a life where I would pursue the arts, but ISU provides opportunities that match me and my career goals.

What are your plans after graduation? After I graduate next May, I hope to land a job where I can utilize both my Statistics and Performing Arts majors on a daily basis. Some types of jobs that intrigue me include theatre management; a member of a theatre organization like the Thespian Society, IHSSA, or even High School Musical Theatre Awards; or a job that includes data analysis involving the utilization of various statistical models and coding languages. If the right situation arises, I would like to attend graduate school so that I can one day teach theatre at a collegiate level. Because all of my family currently lives in Dubuque, I don't see myself going too far away from there, but we will see what jobs are available as I approach graduation.

 Any words of wisdom for prospective students? Take advantage of all the opportunities that are available. While you don't want to spread yourself too thin - as self care is important - it will benefit you to be involved. It's valuable being a part of productions to get that hands on experience. It's exciting to try new things all across campus like joining different clubs and activities. Getting involved and taking advantage of what is all around you will allow you to make friends, thus building lifelong connections. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and grow, this community is welcoming and wishes the best for you and your success.


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