Abby Sumner continues to work hard to make her dreams become a reality

The maroon curtains with the golden trim rise. The Civic Theater stage is perfectly lit. Senior Abby Sumner walks out on stage as her character Jess in School of Rock. After months of practice, she is prepared to sing the first solo of her career.

“It was my favorite play,” Abby said. “It was a lot of fun because it was one of the first times that somebody actually handed me a role with singing and speaking parts. It was the first time somebody trusted me with a role that big. It just showed me that I’m progressing, and I’m not just staying on one playing field.”

Abby was exposed to theater at a very young age. Her father is an actor and when she was a child, she would accompany him to his rehearsals. Her father’s love for acting was easily spread to her.

This love led Abby to start attending private voice lessons and acting classes at the Civic Theater, and those lessons led to her first play: The Addams Family.

“I remember the first number was an ensemble number, and I was in the ensemble,” Abby said. “I remember the cheering from the audience, and it just felt so good to get the recognition for our hard work.”

Surprisingly, this was not the moment when Abby realized her desire to become a part of the theatrical world. That desire appeared one day when she was leaving rehearsal with her dad and realized that she finally found a group of people that understood her.

“I just felt like I had found the people I had been looking for my entire life,” Abby said. “I had all these feelings and emotions about theater, and I thought I was insane, but then I found my people.”

As such, in the fall, Abby will be attending Colorado State University to major in theater.

“I don’t know whether I actually want to do performance or whether I want to do backstage stuff,” Abby said. “But that’s what college is for so I know that I will figure it out. All I know is that I want to be surrounded by theater people in my future.”

Today, Abby’s dream role is to play none other than Tracy Turnblad from the famous movie and musical Hairspray.

“Her singing part is right in my range,” Abby said. “I feel like that character was made for me.”

But all of this would never have occurred if it weren’t for Abby’s loving father. Her father’s talent and abilities showed her what kind of performer she wants to become.

“My dad is the kind of performer that doesn’t care what anybody thinks about them,” Abby said. “He does a really great job at preparing and is a lot of fun to watch on stage. That’s the kind of performer I want to be.”

While Abby has a lot of dreams, she also has a few fears. One of them is about the prospect of failing to maintain a steady income. However, her love for the theater is strong enough to overpower that fear.

“It’s a very risky and cutthroat career path to go down,” Abby said, “but I love it so much, so I think I’m going to be okay. Theater is fun. Theater is scary. But anybody can do it if they try hard enough.”