Abraham Lincoln statue on Carthage College?s campus.
Jessie Skonesey

Jessie Skonesey

Class Year

’26

Hometown

Mokena, IL

Major(s)

Theatre Performance

Minor(s)

French

After performing in high school, Jessie Skonesey ’26 knew she wanted to pursue theatre for her major in college. As a freshman at Carthage, she played the leading role in the College’s production of “Antigone” and was a cast member for “FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life” and “The Genderless Play Experiment.” A recipient of the Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship, Jessie continues to perform on Carthage’s main stage every chance she gets. 

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“My biggest surprise so far was getting the main role in the play ‘Antigone.’ To play the main character in my first play at Carthage was the highlight of my freshman year.”

Jessie Skonesey, ’26

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because of the small capacity environment I knew I would thrive in. The classes I have that don’t exceed 30 students make it much easier for me to reach out to professors for help as well as feel more connected to the lessons at hand.”

Faculty mentors

“Carthage faculty have been so welcoming and supportive. It’s been so easy to reach out to Carthage faculty members when I need to or write emails asking for assistance. My relationships regarding the amazing faculty I have at Carthage have only benefited me for future success.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage is my Stage Combat class. This class offers a wide range of education on physical stage movement, such as professional punching, tackling, and slapping without harming an actor onstage. This class has shown me such an interesting perspective of violent scenes onstage broken apart and taught to actors. My fellow classmates and I love to hear the stories our professor tells us of the play disasters he choreographed that happened when an actor wasn’t careful. This class constantly reminds me that I love what I do for my major.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class at Carthage so far has been my Intermediate French II course. Our professor rarely speaks English. The challenge helps me better adept to my French speaking and listening abilities; I study and work hard every day in order to improve my French to graduate as bilingual.”

Campus involvement

“I am involved in the Merely Players on campus! It’s an improv group that meets three times a week. It’s so much fun to play games and perform to make people laugh.”

Golden opportunities

“I had the honor of being a helper at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Flint, Michigan during J-Term. I helped assemble awards for colleges all over Region III.”

Internships or campus employment

“I work actively for the Office of Visual and Performing Arts as a board operator for shows, completing 50+ hours in the scene shop during J-Term, and as a faculty fellow for Professor Herschel Kruger to help promote Carthage arts to potential new students.”

Career goal

“After graduation, I plan to hire an agent to audition for plays, movies, shows, etc. professionally. While doing so, I hope to work as a bilingual customer service representative for Quebec or France organizations via phone call.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus by far is the Campbell Student Union Auditorium, where the Merely Players Improv holds practices and shows. It’s so much fun to play games in a stress-free environment three times a week.”

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

“My 8-year-old self would be surprised I chose the career of a performer/actress. However, I know they would be proud of our abilities to accomplish whatever we put our minds to.”