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Music Theatre

Student Voices

Cassidy Skorija ’19


Crystal Lake, Illinois


Music Theatre

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is either the Oaks Hall lounges or the Wartburg Theatre. I have made many memories hanging out with friends and watching movies in the Oaks lounges, and I love all the beautiful art that is made in Wartburg, whether I am on stage or sitting in the audience.”

Cassidy Skorija ’19 chose Carthage for a few reasons. “It was the sense of community and the individual attention I could receive here,” she said. “In the small school setting, I get to know my professors, and I have made friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Now here, she is pursuing her lifelong dream of performing.

“The music theatre emphasis at Carthage is unique in that it incorporates vital courses from both the music and theatre departments, and allows us to take an active role in both. The professors are extremely supportive, and you can really tailor your path to suit your individual needs.”

Career goal

“After I graduate, I’m hoping to go out and audition and continue to find creative ways to share my passion with the world. I’m not totally sure where my path will lead, but I’m excited to see what the future holds!”

Favorite class

“My favorite class so far has been Acting I: Fundamentals of Acting (For Majors and Minors) (THR 2110) with Prof. John Maclay. It helped me out of my comfort zone and helped me to approach scenes and characters in a different way. Everyone in the class was very supportive, and we were all able to take risks and grow together.”

Toughest class

“The hardest class I have taken at Carthage so far was definitely Aural Skills (MUS 1020). It was a skill I had never developed before and the professors really push us to strive for excellence. Luckily, they were readily available if you ever needed help!”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I had the incredible opportunity to travel to China with a group of other music theatre students to perform and help Prof. Corinne Ness teach clinics there. We performed Seussical and a cabaret at conservatories in Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing. I also recently performed as Doralice in Marriage à la Mode. I really enjoyed working with the restoration era language and incorporating music into the 1930s jazz theme!”


“I am a Lincoln Scholar and am eternally grateful for all the wonderful things I have been able to do because of it. Having financial stability during college is a blessing that many college students do not receive and I feel so lucky to take advantage of all the opportunities Carthage has to offer.”

Campus involvement

“I am a member of Lambda Kappa, the honorary music fraternity on campus. I love being able to use my love of music to help the community.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“One of my favorite Carthage memories was performing in the APO production of the Nature Crown. I wrote the music for a song in the show, and the moment when the whole cast came together singing the song was so magical for me.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“So far, the biggest surprise for me has been how difficult it is to manage my time. There are so many interesting classes and organizations available that I have to really work to make sure that I stay on top of everything.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“I think my 8-year-old self would be proud that I was performing. I’ve always loved to sing and act, and I feel very lucky to be supported in pursuing a lifelong dream.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“If you love this and are willing to dedicate the time and effort it takes to be successful, then don’t let any doubts stop you. You owe it to yourself to at least give it a try!”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …