Student Spotlight: Stephanie Abbott-Grobicki ’15
Stephanie Abbott-Grobicki ’15 is not a stranger to the stage. She began to study ballet at the age of four, and because her family moved frequently during her childhood, including to South Africa and France, Abbott-Grobicki said she was able to find some stability in dance.
Her transition to acting began many years before she came to the College. After being introduced to a theater organization while still dancing, her spotlight on stage eventually evolved from dancing to acting. In high school, including time at boarding school, Abbott-Grobicki continued to explore her interest in theater.
At Dartmouth, beyond her classes as a theater major, she has participated in many student-produced and theater department shows, including this winter’s production of “Romeo and Juliet,” where she played a variety of roles including Friar Lawrence and Lord Capulet. In the spring, Abbott-Grobicki will be completing a senior project, an as-of-yet untitled solo performance that she said explores “the process of moving on from death and losing someone you love.”
“It’s a little strange,” Abbott-Grobicki said.
The final version will be a piece that reflects her own struggle “to keep those that we love around us, but also move on,” as well as looking at death more generally, she said.
Abbott-Grobicki said that she is currently in the process of writing the piece and also plans to quote poems, books and monologues within it.
In addition to student-produced shows and her senior project, Abbott-Grobicki has been involved in theater at the College through the Shakespeare group, the Dartmouth Rude Mechanicals — the only theater group on campus that is completely student-run — and currently serves as the group’s executive director. She said that she joined the Rude Mechanicals after hearing about the organization from a fellow actor she met through the fall mainstage production her freshman year.
“I love the people in it,” Abbott-Grobicki said. “I love being able to do a play every term, and I love that it is completely student-run.”
Although the theater department will occasionally help with productions, the students in the group have complete control over all aspects of the Rude Mechanicals’ day-to-day production, she said.
Of the many productions in which Abbott-Grobicki has performed during her time at the College, two of her favorites have been “The Winter’s Tale” and “Macbeth,” which were performed in the fall of 2013 and 2014, respectively.
She said that while “The Winter’s Tale” is less well-known that other Shakespeare plays, she enjoyed the overall experience. She said that working with Luke Katler ’15, another actor in the Rude Mechanicals was one of the highlights of being in “The Winter’s Tale.”
“We turned an obscure play into a really fun experience,” she said.
Abbott-Grobicki said that playing Lady Macbeth in last fall’s production of “Macbeth” has been one of the most enjoyable roles that she has played during her time at the College. She said that Lady Macbeth is one of her favorites of Shakespeare’s female characters, because of her depth and complexity.
“If I could play one part for the rest of my life, it would be her ,because she’s evil and crazy and wonderful,” Abbott-Grobicki said.
Emily Everhard ’18, who is a member of the Rude Mechanicals, said that one of Abbott-Grobicki’s strengths is connecting with the group’s new members.
“Being a freshman, I was really intimidated and nervous, but [Abbott-Grobicki] made me feel so welcome,” Everhard said. “She’s just a fun person to be on stage with.
Everhard said that the “Macbeth” show was one of her favorite experiences as a member of the Rude Mechanicals so far because of her interactions with Abbott-Grobicki.
“She has this crazy scene at the end, right before Lady Macbeth kills herself,” Everhard said. “It was really fun seeing how she is so different from her character and fun to see the different sides of her.”
Naomi Lazar ’17, also a member of the Rude Mechanicals, said that Abbott-Grobicki is dedicated to the Rude Mechanicals, especially during tech week — one of the most stressful times of being in a production. Although pressure is high and it’s difficult to balance sleep and homework, Lazar notes that it’s the little things that Abbott-Grobicki does during those times that show her caring personality.
“The hardest week for a theater group is the week before the show,” she said. “We are rehearsing all night every night up until a performance. [Abbott-Grobicki] still took the time to celebrate my birthday with me after rehearsal was over.”
As the executive director of the Rude Mechanicals, Abbott-Grobicki said that she is responsible for essentially all aspects of running the group.
“I’m in charge of organizing rehearsals, choosing shows, voting, looking for new spaces,” she said.
During her time at the College, Abbott-Grobicki also went to London on the theater department foreign study program. After graduation, she plans to take some time off from both academics and theater to travel. She said that she hopes to spend time in Kenya and Tanzania, where she wants to climb Mount Kilimanjaro , before returning to London, where she plans to focus on theater, audition for shows and eventually attend graduate school.
The final word with Stephanie Abbott-Grobicki ’15
Favorite study space: Sixth floor stacks
Favorite thing to get at KAF: Soy chai and apples
Favorite piece of flair: Her batman dress.