May 19, 2010
By LAWSON TAITTE
The Dallas Morning News
During her three years as an acting graduate student at Southern Methodist University, Abbey Siegworth played only two roles in school productions. She spent most of her time on stage at the Dallas Theater Center, wowing audiences with star turns in four plays.
Now her status at the Theater Center is official. In a new cooperative program with SMU, the company is announcing that every other year it will offer a graduate of the acting program a two-year contract as a 10th member of the Theater Center's Hal and Diane Brierley Resident Acting Company.
Siegworth was already one of the first SMU students guaranteed roles at the Theater Center under an agreement artistic director Kevin Moriarty made with the university. Part of the incentive is membership in the Actors Equity union when they finish SMU.
"I've obviously benefited more than anyone so far from this relationship," Siegworth says. "But the long term is important to me, too. I'll do anything I can to keep the relationship healthy and robust."
The willowy blond, 28, grew up in a Chicago suburb and auditioned three times to get into the undergraduate acting program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by auditioning three times. She worked her way into Milwaukee theater and toured Shakespeare to small towns in Missouri during the summers for four years. She had just broken onto the Chicago scene when professor Leslie Brott offered her the SMU slot three years ago.
Siegworth's first Theater Center role was Eve in In the Beginning, which introduced the resident company.
"It was happenstance, but the company members all welcomed me and made me feel like a peer," she says.
She went on to become a hilarious Helena in last fall's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
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