Skip to main content


Student Voices

Christian Aldridge ’16


Huntley, Ill.


Theatre Performance and Music Theatre

Favorite spot on campus

“The outlook on the lake between Straz and Lentz. It’s always been a perfect place to watch the lake, and now there’s a patio out there!”

Christian Aldridge came to Carthage because of the world-class theatre and music faculty. Now here, he can’t decide what he loves most about the school. “The people, the progress I’m making, and the level of confidence my training is giving me in terms of getting ready for the real world are all at the top of my list,” he said. 

Only a sophomore, Christian has already been in a J-Term music theatre workshop, has been in two main stage productions with his third coming up, and will be performing in an original play written for Carthage by Jeffrey Hatcher

After graduation he hopes to be a professional actor or vocalist on Broadway.

Career goal

“I want to make a living doing great theatre, whatever or wherever that means. Music will always be a part of my life, and I suppose my dream is to work in Chicago or New York, but I will go wherever great roles and great people take me.”

Favorite professor

“This is a difficult question. I owe so much to all of my professors, so its not really fair to pick just one. However, no one has been more instrumental in my vocal, professional, and personal progress than my voice coaches, Greg Berg and Corinne Ness.”

Favorite class

“One of the best classes I have ever taken was Voice for the Stage with John Maclay. He is such a fun and intelligent professor to work with, and made me open to Shakespeare even more than I already was. Plus, a new sonnet every week is a great way to get familiar with your voice and Shakespeare’s text.”

Toughest class

“Absolutely my dance classes. They might not be ‘homework’ tough, but they absolutely push me to the brink of my abilities and, on occasion, sanity. I would be in such a weaker place as a performer today if I did not have the benefits of these classes.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Choosing Carthage has given me so many opportunities. I work with world-class music professors. I constantly work on the things that I learn in class practically, on the stage. I have been a part of new theatrical works. I have travelled to Scotland and New York to study and perform. The list goes on, and I am still building on it!”

Campus involvement

“I am a part of the Carthage Choir, the Lincoln Chamber Singers, and the Carthage Neil-Futurists. I work in the theatrical scene shop, helping to build sets for our productions all year. I also perform in those productions, having participated in a growing list of eight theatre department main-stage productions, six music theatre workshops, and two theatrical style-intensive J-Term projects. I am also an active member of both Lambda Kappa and Alpha Psi Omega.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“I love spending time down by the lake when I need to clear my head, and I love getting visited by friends at my room in Denhart.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“I am most surprised by the amount of involvement I have had the opportunity for in my time here. Even when I got accepted, I had no idea that I would have so many chances to work on my craft.”

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

“You can be a nerd, and be proud of it, and enjoy your whole life? THAT’S AWESOME. I wanna be like you when I grow up.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“If performing is what you love to do and you are willing to work, you are going to have the time of your life at Carthage. Seek help when you need it, and don’t ever give up.


  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • 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.

    • 96% 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. 95% 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. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience 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 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 our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. 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,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. 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 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. 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.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • 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. 5 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 …