Creating Her Own Path: A feature on Eastern’s first theatre graduate.

Abigail Pardocchi, a senior Theatre major, will be the first to graduate Eastern University in the newly developed major. The aspiring actress has fought long and hard to be the first theatre graduate from the university and plans on chasing her dreams after graduation this May.

Pardocchi found her love for theatre when she was eight years old. She started her training at Clear Space Theatre Company, located in Rehoboth Beach, Del. in various after school programs and summer intensives. From there, the actress only grew, performing in a variety of high school productions.

At Eastern, Pardocchi has performed in four productions including “Into the Woods,” “Antigone,” “Let Our Voices Rise,” and the upcoming, “Tartuffe in Quarantine.” In addition to these productions, she has also performed in a variety of concerts for the Dance Department as well.

In the summer of 2019, Pardocchi landed her first lead in “Happy Days the Musical,” the musical version of the popular 1970’s sitcom, starring as Pinky. The actress has continued her work with the theater company and recently performed as Rachel in “Exit Laughing,” a comedy about making the most out of our lives.

After talking to Pardocchi on her experience at the university, she explains her feelings on being Eastern’s experimental student. “It’s been a very difficult process, especially because I started as an individualized major,” Pardocchi said. “It is still difficult even with an official major, but it’s been very rewarding to help build and create a program. I’m not only the first theatre major, but I also did a lot of the research that went to the board in consideration for the establishment of the major.”

As a theatre major, Pardocchi explains that students are required to participate in four shows, either on stage or off, throughout their undergraduate studies for practicum credits. In addition to this, the major also has core classes and electives that students have to take, just as any other department. “I still have required classes to take like any other major would, the Theatre Department is just more creative about it,” Pardocchi said.

Pardocchi illustrates the personalized attention that she received at Eastern University being the first Theatre major. “You wouldn’t get as much one on one time with professors at a bigger and more competitive program,” Pardocchi said. “I received a lot of individualized help from this program. That being said, I also only worked with a few professors, limiting the type of experiences and lessons that I was learning.”

While the future may be fuzzy, Pardocchi is hopeful for the opportunities and work ahead. “I know it will be difficult and hard work, but I’m really passionate about acting and I will do whatever it takes to follow my dream.”

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