College Admission Takes Center Stage


There is nothing like the college admission process to bring out the drama.

Abigail Henkin, a recent graduate of Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep, thinks so anyway.

Her play, Decision Day, likens selecting a college to a dating game. The play beat out more than 500 submissions to be featured in the 31st annual Young Playwrights Festival in Chicago.

In the play, the main character Lizzy tries to choose between her three suitors —“McDreamy,” representing her dream private liberal arts college; “Hyps,” representing the Ivy League; and State, representing the school that can offer her a full-tuition scholarship (unconditional love in this scenario).

“When you’re applying for colleges, there’s a lot of back and forth in demonstrating interest. You have to click on all their emails and sign up for all these things,” Henkin told The Chicago Tribune, noting that the process served as an inspiration for Decision Day. “I got a postcard from my dream school and I was like, ‘Oh look, they like me!’ It was almost like they were flirting with me.”

And just as every guy isn’t a mother’s choice for her daughter, neither is every college. Lizzie must also contend with her mom’s meddling in this comedy.

While Lizzie’s choice remains unknown until the end of the show, Henkin has already made her postsecondary selection. She is currently attending the University of Chicago.

The Young Playwrights Festival, featuring Decision Day, runs through Jan. 28.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at

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