Andrew Stachurski was drawn to the Carthage’s Theatre Department because of its close-knit community and the opportunity to participate.
“In acting courses, the classes only consist of you and 11 other students,” Andrew said. “This means more one-on-one work with very knowledgeable and experienced professors. Everything I know about acting now is due to the one-on-one acting work I’ve had with the professors here at Carthage.”
Although Andrew is more interested in acting than he is in working backstage, coming to Carthage allowed him to learn how to build sets and how to configure lighting and sound design.
Carthage’s location, nestled between two vibrant theatre scenes in Chicago and Milwaukee, also played a large role in Andrew’s decision to study at Carthage. “It is very easy to find a group of fellow students and go see a show in either city,” he said. “This is essential to any theatre student, because the best way to improve your craft is to watch it professionally done.”
The department also provides students great opportunities to work with professional playwrights, actors and directors, and allows all students to participate regardless of their class level.
“I was fortunate enough to be in three new plays written by playwrights who were commissioned by Carthage,” Andrew said. “One of those was The Railsplitter by Emmy Award-winning writer Rick Cleveland. The show received a national award for New Distinguished Play at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Being an underclassman at the time, I probably wouldn’t have been able to be a part of the production had Carthage been a big university or conservatory.”
Above all, his classmates are what really makes Andrew proud to be study theatre at Carthage.
“Everyone is very supportive of one another, and it is very easy to settle in as a freshman,” he said. “Each class is integrated into one community instead of having everyone separated depending on what class they are in.”
“Everything I know about acting now is due to the one-on-one acting work I’ve had with the professors here at Carthage.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“Herschel Kruger is an excellent professor in the department. He provides a very fun and engaging work environment. He is also an exceptional director who pushes his actors to dig deeper into the lives of their characters.”
“So far, my favorite class has been Experimental and Ensemble Acting with Neil Scharnick, during J-Term my freshman year. In this class, we studied Neo-Futurism and ended the semester by putting on our very own Neo-Futurist show. From this class we formed an organization on campus that still performs today.”
“Acting III has been my toughest class. It deals with classical text, mostly Shakespeare, and you are constantly memorizing sonnets and scenes.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“Being a part of the production of The Railsplitter has been by far my favorite moment at Carthage so far. I was always excited to go to rehearsal and be a part of a new work. Another fond moment I have had so far at Carthage would be my first show, Biloxi Blues, directed by my good friend Tommy Novak.”
Favorite spot on campus
“Sub-Connection. It is the best and cheapest sub sandwich around. Instead of a ‘freshman 15,’ I gained a ‘freshman 40.’ Was it worth it? Most definitely yes.”
Biggest surprise so far
“How involved I have been in the department since I first came in as a freshman.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“Be involved in the department in any way you can. You will take so much knowledge from here into the real world if you stay involved. When I came in as a freshman, I wasn’t the most motivated person. Since then, I’m involved in Neo-Futurism and have been cast in so many great productions.”