THROUGHOUT HER THEATRE career, Abby Stuckrath — a Coloradan who recently graduated from the Denver School of the Arts — has found community at every turn. Whether performing with Troupe 5869 in Big Fish, Into the Woods, and 9 to 5 (which earned an invitation to the 2020 International Thespian Festival main stage) or serving as the assistant director for her school’s production of Cabaret, Stuckrath says every role she’s taken onstage and off has illustrated to her the power of theatre and the “amazing community” it creates.

Abby Stuckrath

Abby Stuckrath

While she spends a considerable amount of time in theatres, Stuckrath pursues a variety of other activities. A Star Wars fan, she says you can often catch her rewatching her favorite film, The Empire Strikes Back. She describes herself as possessing an “odd obsession” with documentaries, especially recommending Ava Duvernay’s 13th, which explores America’s history of racial inequality. More recently, Stuckrath picked up a new quarantine hobby: knitting.

Yet, her role as a 2019-20 International Thespian Officer solidified Stuckrath’s key interests in advocacy and current events. “I love politics and make sure I am always up to date in politics,” said Stuckrath, who also has plans to explore the globe. “I went on a service trip to Peru last year, which taught me I want to join the Peace Corps after college.”

When did you become interested in theatre?
When I was in third grade, my choir teacher encouraged me to audition for a production of Annie. I was cast in the orphan ensemble and loved it. I spent the entire time looking for my parents in the audience during performances. I was hooked after that experience.

Why did you want to become an International Thespian Officer?
When I applied to be a Thespian officer at my school, I had no idea what the position really entailed. But when I started working as an officer, I fell in love with leadership and arts advocacy. I also had great role models who encouraged me to seek and apply for state and international [positions].

What do you think makes a good leader?
Anyone can be a leader! You just need passion, positivity, and initiative. Don’t limit yourself to one definition of leadership because it comes in many different forms.

What are your next plans?
I’m attending American University in Washington, D.C., in the fall. I’ll be majoring in political science and am excited to immerse myself in the political atmosphere of [the nation’s capital].

What advice would you share with other Thespians?
My advice is to appreciate and love the theatre community because, trust me, it is special and so, so unique. Love who you are as an artist. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others. Instead take the time to learn to truly appreciate and love yourself.

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