Theatre Scholarship Recipient Sees a Future in Directing
Abigail “Abby” Hampson ’24 thought York College of Pennsylvania was too far from her hometown in New Hampshire. After visiting the campus, it was the only school to which she applied.
Abigail “Abby” Hampson ’24 has a love for theatre that goes far beyond acting. As a teenager growing up in New Hampshire, she was drawn to her community’s youth theatre company. In 2018, that company led her to England, where she performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Even with all of her stage experience, Hampson was drawn to the other aspects of theatre—the areas that didn’t always get as much attention, but played a vital role in a production.
“I’ve always wanted to know more about theatre, to dig deeper,” she says. “Finding those opportunities has made theatre something really complex and intriguing to me.”
Hampson realized she could further explore those parts of theatre at York College of Pennsylvania. At first, when she realized how far the College was from her hometown in New Hampshire, she thought the distance was too far.
But, she says, stepping onto campus changed that for her. York College ended up being the only school to which she would apply. “It wasn’t anything I expected, and yet, it felt like it could deliver everything I hoped to achieve in my education,” she says. “This was a place where I could really grow in theatre.”
Learning from others
Hampson has always believed in the philosophy that you never want to be the best person in the room. At least in theatre, she says, you always want to be learning from those around you. While she brought a lot of Shakespearean experience to the stage at York College, she knew there was so much out there to learn.
While a mentor in high school once told Hampson that she’d be a great director, she’d always brushed off the idea. It was while working on a play that she started to look beyond just her lines and her own character to how the overall production could be put together. “It suddenly hit me that I do think like a director,” Hampson says. “I see so many things as the bigger picture. That’s really interesting to me.”
Her work in the theatre program led her to receive the Matthew Pattley Scholarship. Along with being a Graham Collaborative Innovation Fellow, Hampson has found a multitude of resources that make her York College experience more than she ever imagined.
“It’s a wonderful time to be a Theatre major and see all the exciting, adaptive ways that shows are being made more accessible to people,” she says. “I feel like I’m part of something really exciting.”
York College supports students as they work to turn career dreams into reality. Some 99% of new, full-time students receive financial assistance or scholarships. A variety of scholarships and grants are available, based on both merit and financial need.