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Abigail Donaghy, an actress on the rise

Published on April 11, 2022

Abigail Donaghy, an actress on the rise

Eastern student balances school with show business

Abigail Donaghy playing 16-year-old Midge in the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, season 4 episode 7.
Abigail Donaghy playing 16-year-old Midge in "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"

Abigail Donaghy was 13 years old when her father brought her to an open audition in New York City that forever changed her life. Today, at 21, she is a full-time Eastern student who is managing a budding career as an actress. The History major from Willington has appeared in movies and television series on Netflix, HBO Max, Showtime and Amazon Prime Video.   

Abigail Donaghy's headshot.

Donaghy was introduced to the theatre world by her parents at a young age. “My mom did theater growing up, so she got me into it when I was really little,” she said. “When I was 12 years old, I started doing shows with the Windham Theatre Guild, a community theater down the street. I did about 10 shows with them and really grew up there.”

After catching the acting bug, Donaghy — whose father is English Professor Daniel Donaghy — pestered her parents about getting a professional acting job. On that trip to NYC, she read an oatmeal commercial for an open casting call with Li’l Angels Unlimited talent management and was signed as a client. Later at age 19, she signed with the Stewart Talent Agency. 

Donaghy has since appeared in a number of well-known productions, including a principal role in the Netflix film “The Half of It”; a co-star role in episode five of the HBO Max series “Love Life”; and the role of 16-year-old Midge in season 4, episode 7 of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Along with her time spent acting in New York City, Donaghy is also a full-time History major with minors in Psychology and pre-Law. Hoping to expand her education past acting, she studies history because of her interest in historical roles she’s played in past theatrical productions.

Abigail Donaghy in "The Half of It" (2020)

Abigail Donaghy in "Love Life" (2020)

Abigail Donaghy in "You Are Not Here" (2019)

“When I was at the Windham Theatre Guild, I played Anne Frank and Helen Keller onstage. I loved doing all the research and learning as much about them as I could. Acting and history are similar in a way — they are both about learning stories and taking your interpretations behind why and how they happened. I like the stories!”

Despite the unique and exciting experience of being a working actor and college student, Donaghy says that balancing the two can be difficult. Crucial to her success is a strong work ethic, often completing assignments early to avoid falling behind. However, Donaghy said the pandemic eased some of her acting stressors.

“Most auditions are self-tapes, which means I record it myself and upload it by a certain day. This makes it a lot easier to balance,” she explained. “Before, I would have to miss the entire day to go into Manhattan. Now, I can just go back home — we have a set up in the basement.” However, Donaghy did say that when acting takes her time, her professors have always been understanding.

Donaghy’s acting career is on the rise, with a number of jobs that she is excited to start working on. “I’ve been lucky so far,” she said. “I hope that I keep getting to work for as long as I can.”

Written by Molly Boucher

Categories: History