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Act. Direct. Build. Design. Do it all with Carthage Theatre.

Current Carthage Theatre Season    •    Get Tickets


Majors and Minors

Theatre Performance
Technical Direction
Theatrical Costume Design
Theatrical Stage Management



Theatre scholarships:
2021 scholarships have concluded. 2022 scholarship auditions will take place in Feb. 2022. Applications will be available in Oct. 2021. 

Vital to the liberal arts tradition, a Carthage theatre education enables students to contribute meaningfully to both the world of theatre and the world-at-large.

New Play Initiative: Prominent American Playwrights Working with You

Carthage Theatre is committed to creating exciting, compelling new theatre works. Since 2008, Carthage Theatre has commissioned playwrights of prominence from around the country and the world to create original plays for our department, and work closely with our students to bring them to life. These works receive their world premieres here at Carthage. This unique opportunity means that our students collaborate with playwrights currently active in the highest levels of the theatre world. Read more about the New Play Initiative.

Academic Choice

Carthage theatre students can take courses in theatre history, directing, playwriting, dance, scene design, costume design, light design, and scenic painting, among others.

Degree Options

Carthage offers bachelor of arts degrees in theatre, theatre performance and technical production design. Carthage also offers teacher licensure, a dance minor, and an interdisciplinary degree in music theatre with the Music Department. Admission to the program is contingent on an audition.

See what Carthage Theatre students have to say…



Performing and Directing Opportunities

Students have many opportunities to be directly engaged in their craft as Carthage produces four faculty- or guest-directed Main Stage shows each year (one of which is always a musical), as well as multiple student-directed productions in our studio space. Our Dance Program features a yearly faculty-choreographed concert as well as a student concert. Student directors also stage 2-3 full-length productions a year in our 80-seat studio space. (See current season.)

Hands-on Learning

Acting students receive four semesters of acting theory, voice training, body alignment, and scene work. Students are involved in every aspect of theatrical production. These duties include hanging lights, sewing costumes, stage management, and many others.

Scholarships for Theatre Students

Admitted students intending to major or minor in theatre, performance, or technical theatre production and design are strongly encouraged to audition for a Carthage Theatre Scholarship. These auditions are held every February.

Visiting Professionals

In addition to commissioning guest playwrights through the New Play Initiative, Carthage regularly invites respected professional theatre practitioners to campus to work with students. Recent visiting professionals include Tony Award-winning scenic designer Todd Rosenthal, Steppenwolf casting director Erica Daniels, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater associate artistic director Sandy Ernst. Learn more about visiting professionals at Carthage.

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  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), 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 The Aspire Center.

    • 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 marketing 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 $22,000 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 Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, 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 in the Top 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 …