At A Glance

Integrating voice, acting, and dance, the Carthage Musical Theatre Program prepares collaborative artists for an ever-changing discipline. In addition to multiple performance opportunities, students are enrolled in several performance-based courses taught by musical theatre professionals who are actively working in New York, Milwaukee, and Chicago.

Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Musical Theatre
    Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music: Musical Theatre
    Master of Music (M.M.) in Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy 

Minors Offered

  • Minor in Musical Theatre

View Requirements

No. 2

Best School for Drama and Theater Arts in Wisconsin

The musical theatre curriculum at Carthage features comprehensive vocal training and musicianship, intense acting experiences, and a variety of dance technique and choreography classes.

New: Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre!

Carthage is one of only ten colleges in the country that offer a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre degree. The new program gives students a degree where they learn all aspects of musical theatre and train in an intensive curriculum in voice, acting, and dance. Coursework includes voice lessons, dance classes, and performance opportunities in multiple productions. 

A Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre degree requires a more intensive study of music with classes in music theory, aural skills, choral ensembles, and piano. These music courses lead to a better understanding of music and a broader set of skills that leads to more self-sufficient performers. The more skills — the more marketable!

Want to audition or learn more about this program? Contact Professor Matthew Hougland at mhougland@carthage.edu.

Musical theatre majors performed in the musical theatre programs production of ?Legally Blonde: T... Performance Opportunities within the Musical Theatre Program

Musical theatre majors have many opportunities to perform while at Carthage. Beginning in their first year, students are able to audition for multiple productions, including musicals, plays, dance concerts, and Carthage Theatre’s New Play Initiative. Presentations of class work add to the opportunities MT students have to showcase their skills and readiness in the MT industry.

performance opportunities for students

  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/36441_Elizabeth-Neybert-25.rev.1669746281.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/36441_Elizabeth-Neybert-25.rev.1669746281.webp 2x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/36441_Elizabeth-Neybert-25.rev.1669746281.jpg 2x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/36441_Elizabeth-Neybert-25.rev.1669746281.jpg" alt="Elizabeth Neybert ?25" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,400/36441_Elizabeth-Neybert-25.rev.1669746281.jpg 2x" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="400" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “My advisors and professors have encouraged me to take risks and take advantage of opportunities that are presented to me. They have helped me grow as a student and as an artist.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2197-elizabeth-neybert">Elizabeth Neybert</a> ’25</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,300,400/38991_Emily-Halfmann-25.rev.1705078148.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,300,400/38991_Emily-Halfmann-25.rev.1705078148.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,0,300,400/38991_Emily-Halfmann-25.rev.1705078148.jpg" alt="Emily Halfmann ?25" width="183" height="183" data-max-w="300" data-max-h="400" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “The wonderful thing about Carthage is that there are many different types of performance opportunities, so if you don’t get cast in a show right away, there are other opportunities to audition and perform within the department.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2244-emily-halfmann">Emily Halfmann</a> ’25</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,710,2133,2841/36422_4849_163701665847155.rev.1669218966.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,710,2133,2841/36422_4849_163701665847155.rev.1669218966.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,710,2133,2841/36422_4849_163701665847155.rev.1669218966.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,710,2133,2841/36422_4849_163701665847155.rev.1669218966.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,710,2133,2841/36422_4849_163701665847155.rev.1669218966.JPG 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,710,2133,2841/36422_4849_163701665847155.rev.1669218966.JPG" alt="Danae Palmer" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,710,2133,2841/36422_4849_163701665847155.rev.1669218966.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/89/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,710,2133,2841/36422_4849_163701665847155.rev.1669218966.JPG 3x" data-max-w="2133" data-max-h="2131" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “My advice for you is to do what you love. There is always something out there in the real world after college that you can use your degree for. Don’t let caution or fear of the future stop you from doing what you love.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2193-danae-palmer">Danae Palmer</a> ’25</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/46/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,59,910,969/36227_4641_163701665847155.rev.1667436130.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/46/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,59,910,969/36227_4641_163701665847155.rev.1667436130.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/46/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,59,910,969/36227_4641_163701665847155.rev.1667436130.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/46/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,59,910,969/36227_4641_163701665847155.rev.1667436130.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/46/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,59,910,969/36227_4641_163701665847155.rev.1667436130.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/46/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,59,910,969/36227_4641_163701665847155.rev.1667436130.jpg" alt="Trevor Milne" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/46/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,59,910,969/36227_4641_163701665847155.rev.1667436130.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/46/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,59,910,969/36227_4641_163701665847155.rev.1667436130.jpg 3x" data-max-w="910" data-max-h="910" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “Carthage is a college that provided me with a great education in multiple areas of study. While most other schools are known for either their music or STEM programs, Carthage has great programs for both.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2139-">Trevor Milne</a> ’26</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>
  • <div class="lw_widget lw_widget_type_blockquote"><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="blockquote__image"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/35/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,268,2133,2400/36428_22_Kelsey_Spofford-47.rev.1669651074.webp 1x, /live/image/scale/2x/gid/35/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,268,2133,2400/36428_22_Kelsey_Spofford-47.rev.1669651074.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/35/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,268,2133,2400/36428_22_Kelsey_Spofford-47.rev.1669651074.webp 3x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/35/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,268,2133,2400/36428_22_Kelsey_Spofford-47.rev.1669651074.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/35/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,268,2133,2400/36428_22_Kelsey_Spofford-47.rev.1669651074.jpg 3x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/35/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,268,2133,2400/36428_22_Kelsey_Spofford-47.rev.1669651074.jpg" alt="Kelsey Spofford" width="183" height="183" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/35/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,268,2133,2400/36428_22_Kelsey_Spofford-47.rev.1669651074.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/35/width/183/height/183/crop/1/src_region/0,268,2133,2400/36428_22_Kelsey_Spofford-47.rev.1669651074.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2133" data-max-h="2132" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </div><div class="blockquote__content"><div class="blockquote__quote"><svg aria-hidden="true" class="icon icon-round-left-quote" width="48" height="33"><use xlink:href="#icon-round-left-quote"/></svg><p> “I have been able to explore my individuality through academics as well as develop lifelong friendships. Being at Carthage has given me opportunities like no other.”</p></div><footer class="blockquote__footer"><span class="blockquote__author"><a href="/live/profiles/2166-">Kelsey Spofford</a> ’25</span></footer></div></blockquote></div>

Courses You’ll Take as a musical theatre Major

This multidisciplinary program pulls courses from both the music and theatre departments:

  • Private Voice Lessons (4 years)
  • Dance (4 years)
  • Musical Theatre History
  • Multiple Musical Theatre Techniques courses
  • Acting I, II
  • Play Reading and Analysis
  • Stagecraft
  • Costumes and Makeup

Course Descriptions

Musical Theatre Program Alumni Successes

Our alumni can be seen across the country at venues like these:

  • Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Steppenwolf Theatre (Chicago)
  • Goodman Theatre (Chicago)
  • Milwaukee Repertory Theater
  • The Marriott Theatre (Lincolnshire, Illinois)
  • Six Flags
  • Music Theatre Works
  • Universal Studios Beijing

Some students continue their education, pursuing graduate degrees in teaching, directing, drama, vocal performance, or opera. Learn more about Carthage’s Master of Music in Music Theatre Vocal Pedagogy

Hear from Musical Theatre Alumni

Scholarships for musical theatre Majors

Individual scholarships up to $10,000 may be offered to musical theatre majors, along with academic scholarships for students demonstrating outstanding potential each year.

auditions and scholarships

Beyond the classroom

Guest Artists: Thanks to our campus location halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee, students develop relationships with directors, casting agents, and fellow artists who provide invaluable learning and professional experience.

Study Abroad: Musical theatre students have performed in Ireland, Scotland, and China, with more opportunities on the horizon.

Student Organizations: Top students can join music honorary Lambda Kappa or national theatre honor society Alpha Psi Omega. For other performance avenues, some join an a cappella group or improv troupe Merely Players.

Student Opportunities