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Past Seasons




Directed by Professor Neil Kristian Scharnick
Written by Matt Cox 

You know the story of that one orphan boy who went to magic school, fulfilled the prophecy, beat the evil wizard, and saved the world, right? Everyone knows that story.

Well…this is not his story.

Matt Cox’s record-breaking off-Broadway hit isn’t about the brave kids, the smart kids, or the ambitious kids. This is the story of those other kids that we don’t often hear about: the Puffs. Billed as “a tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world,” “Puffs” gives the audience a new look at a familiar adventure from the perspective of three potential heroes just trying to make it through a magic school that proves to be very dangerous for children. In this hilarious celebration of loyalty, kindness, and learning from our failures, the Carthage Theatre Department’s first production of the year explores the lives of those magic students not destined for greatness.



New Play Initiative: Romeo and Juliet Walk Into a Bar

Directed by Professor Martin McClendon
Written by Professor John Maclay and Joe Foust

A small midwestern college decides to stage Shakespeare’s classic tale of young star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. But what happens when no guys show up to the audition? Add in a mysterious guest director with dubious credentials and a bizarre show concept, and anything might happen. Can the students rescue the bard from being hijacked? In “Romeo & Juliet Walk Into a Bar,” anything can happen and hilarity is bound to ensue.

Prof. Maclay is a playwright, actor, and director, who also has taught many classes at Carthage including Acting, Voice for the Stage, and Theatre for Children. As a playwright, he specializes in adaptation for Theatres for Young Audiences with over 40 productions of his scripts produced at theatres across the country. In addition to his latest, “The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors,” his plays and musicals include “Goosebumps the Musical: Phantom of the Auditorium” (with Danny Abosch), “Nancy Drew and Her Biggest Case Ever” (with Jeff Frank), a new version of “Robin Hood” (with Joe Foust), and “Nate the Great” (with Brett Ryback).

Collaborator Joe Foust is a playwright, director, and actor. His plays have been produced by Peninsula Players, First Stage, Defiant Theatre, Dad’s Garage, the Old Creamery Theater, and many others. Mr. Foust’s previous playwriting credits include “Once A Ponzi Time” and collaborations with Prof. Maclay on a new version of “Robin Hood” and on “Andromeda and the Trials of Hercules.” Selected Chicago acting credits include “Measure for Measure,” “A Christmas Carol” (The Goodman), “Mother Courage and Her Children” ( Steppenwolf), and fourteen productions with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Selected regional credits include playing in “Hamlet” at Nevermore Theatre, “Around the World in 80 Days” (Cleveland Playhouse), five productions with Milwaukee Shakespeare, and nineteen seasons acting, writing, and directing with Peninsula Players. Mr. Foust is a founding member of Defiant Theatre, where credits include directing and co-writing “Action Movie: the Play” and “Ubu Raw.” Other credits include “Parks and Recreation” (NBC), “Normal” (HBO), “Early Edition” (CBS), “Chicago Fire” (NBC), and “Proven Innocent” (FOX).

Romeo and Juliet Walk into a Bar


• • •


Theatre Alumni Staged Reading: Room Service

By Allen Boretz and John Murray

While at Carthage, the cast of the farcical comedy Room Service always said that in 10 years they would get back together and do a staged reading of the show that had so many memories tied to it. Room Service is a farcical comedy about theater people living and producing a play in the White Way Hotel in NYC. The only problem? They have no money to do so. After checking the books, the hotel staff attempt to get this whole production team out. Will the director, producer and theatre troupe find a way to wipe their hotel bill clean before the Regional Manager kicks them to the curb? Fake deaths, squatters rights, zany games of hide and seek, and the age-old theater motto the show must go on at whatever cost all spring to life in this charming comedy. Come enjoy as theatre alumni reunite a decade later to relive this great moment they had at Carthage.

Room Service


A Doll’s House, Part 2

By Lucas Hnath

Modernist playwright Henrik Ibsen changed the face of dramatic literature as we knew it. Often referred to as the “father of realism”, his inventive dramas gave way to a new era of theatre. This is especially true of his 1879 drama, A Doll’s House, in which Nora Helmer, a married woman with little opportunity for self-fulfillment, grapples with the confines of her station in life in a way that sparked controversy among its audiences. In the final scene of Ibsen’s 1879 groundbreaking masterwork, Nora Helmer makes the shocking decision to leave her husband and children, and begin a life on her own. This climactic event - when Nora slams the door on everything in her life - instantly propelled world drama into the modern age. In A Doll’s House, Part Two, a sequel crafted in 2017 by award-winning contemporary playwright Lucas Hnath, many years have passed since Nora’s exit. Now, there’s a knock on that same door. Nora has returned. But why? And what will it mean for those she left behind?

‘A Doll's House Part II' poster



Body Awareness

Written by Annie Baker
Directed by Samantha Salmi ’20

Produced as part of playwright Annie Baker’s “Vermont plays”, Body Awareness tells the story of a fiery academic psychology professor Phyllis living in the fictional Shirley, Vermont with her equally intellectual partner Joyce, a high school social studies teacher, and Jared, Joyce’s adult son from a previous marriage. At the start of the play, Phyllis is organizing Body Awareness Week at her school. Meanwhile, Jared is displaying symptoms of Asperger’s but refuses to seek professional evaluation, struggles to express himself. Tensions rise when Frank Bonitatibus, a photographer and guest artist of Body Awareness Week, comes to stay with the women and shines a light on the stark differences in Phyllis’s and Joyce’s world views. Described by the New York Times as “An engaging new comedy by a young playwright with a probing, understated voice,” Body Awareness explores themes of love, health, and family in this contemporary one act.

Body Awareness poster


New Play Initiative: The Handbook

By Laura Schellhardt
Directed by Neil Kristian Scharnick

Based on true events surrounding the controversy of former New Orleans Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis’s dismissal, The Handbook is an incisive account of the rampant discrimination in the world of professional cheerleading and the effects it has on the cheerleaders. The play follows members of the fictitious Flames NFL cheerleading team, and begins with the controversy of veteran cheerleader Laney’s termination from the team (based on Ms. Davis’s account). Throughout the play, the Flames face discrimination at every turn; they must adhere to strict rules not imposed on male athletes, they must pass objectifying physical examinations, and they feel left to their own devices to protect themselves from unwanted advances. Through it all, the Flames cheerleaders must rely on their sisterhood to take care of one another and maintain their dignity despite every injustice threatening to take it from them. Exposing ugly truths with lovable and complex characters, The Handbook is a call to action to level the playing field for women in sports and beyond.

Laura Schellhardt is a playwright and adaptor. Her original works include Upright Grand, Air Guitar High, Auctioning the Ainsleys(Jeff Award Nominee), The Apothecary’s Daughter, How to Remove Blood From a Carpet, The K of D(Jeff Award Nominee, 2010 NYC Fringe Festival Best New Play Award), Courting Vampires, Shapeshifter, Inheritance, and Je Ne Sais Quoi. Adaptations include The Phantom Tollbooth, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, The Outfit(Jeff Award Nominee), and Creole Folktales. She is also the author of Screenwriting for Dummies. Schellhardt is a recipient of the TCG National Playwriting Residency, the Jerome Fellowship, the New Play Award from ACT in Seattle, and a Dramatist Guild Playwriting Fellowship. She has participated in the SoHo Rep Writer/Director Lab, the Women Playwrights Festival at SRC, The Kennedy Center’s New Voices/New Visions Festival, The Bonderman TYA Symposium, and the O’Neill National Playwright’s Festival. She received her graduate degree from Brown University, under the tutelage of Paula Vogel. Schellhardt oversees the undergraduate playwriting initiative in the Department of Theatre.

‘The Handbook' poster 



Vet Night of the Arts: Stories of Service

The fourth annual Vet Night of the Arts will once again provide a venue for our community to gather and encounter veteran and non-veteran artists, dedicated to creating meaningful, artistic dialogue about improving life for service members as they return to the civilian world. This year’s event is called Stories of Service, and will feature storytelling and two unique theatrical events:

  • Voices of VOW 2019: Hear stories taken from interviews with residents of the VOW Vet Village in Racine. Actors will portray four of the VOW Village residents, telling in their own words about the reality of veteran homelessness, and the beacon of hope provided by the VOW Village. 
  • “Welcome Back?”: A new play by Martin McClendon. This two-person performance follows the stories of two veterans with very different struggles, transitioning back to civilian life and dealing with wounds inside and out. Ultimately, they find their way home in a world that doesn’t know how to welcome them back. Featuring award-winning Chicago actors and Carthage alumni Alex Johnson ’16 and Elodie Senetra ’13, this event will be followed by a talkback with the artists and members of the Veterans Outreach Community.  

Vet Night of the Arts was created as a way to raise awareness and understanding of the lives our veterans lead, and to show them that they are supported and appreciated. Using a combination of performance and visual arts, the event raises money for organizations that provide veterans with financial and emotional support. Donations to these support organizations will be accepted. 

Vet Night of the Arts 2019



Artistic direction by Stacy Pottinger

The Department of Theatre presents its annual Fall dance production, Shift,which provides opportunities for Carthage dancers to embody new dance works created for them by guest artists, alongside works that have been re-staged and given new life, and new insights by Carthage performers. Shift features a variety of choreographic voices, including regional guest artists and faculty, Stacy Pottinger, Valerie Gonzalez, Jenna Jozefowski, Jenny Barreca, and Juliet Towne. The program will also premiere works by Carthage’s very own emerging choreographers.

‘Shift' poster


Fighting for Home

By Martin McClendon
Directed by Marcella Kearns

Carthage Theatre’s latest verbatim play examines the issues of women in the armed forces. Based on interviews women specifically about issues related to being a female in the military in the last 30 years, “Fighting For Home” will highlight women’s struggles to protect their country from all enemies while they deal with rapidly changing policies and deeply entrenched beliefs within the military. How do the stated military policies and declarations of support match up with the realities confronting women as they fight for their country as well as fighting for a place within the military? We hear from the front lines of a battle to create a safe place—safe meaning free from fear of their fellow soldiers (harassment, assault), free of policies that don’t let them advance, free of stigma, stereotypes, of the “don’t ask/don’t tell” policies going back 30 years, but also of policies that have lifted women up, and of their triumphs and successes, either because of or in spite of, these issues. Stories of courage, hope, and struggle as the United States comes to grips with this vital issue facing us all.

Although women have served alongside men in our armed forces since the beginning of the republic, it was only in 1991 during the Gulf War that they were openly acknowledged to be participating in combat zones. And it was only in 2017 that the first women participated in fully integrated infantry combat training with the US Army. Women have a long history of serving in the military, but the changes of the last three decades have brought them into a new prominence and forced the nation to confront many of its beliefs and prejudices regarding women’s roles in the military and their rights and responsibilities in society at large. Fighting For Home will present stories from the front lines of one of the most significant policy shifts of our time, straight from the women who lived it.

‘Fighting For Home' poster


Baltimore Waltz

Written by Paula Voegel
Directed by Joshua Maloney ’20

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event was canceled.

Presented as a series of comic vignettes, The Baltimore Waltz tells the story of a woman, Ann, and her brother, Carl, who plan to take one last incredible trip around the world. Ann has contracted “Acquired Toilet Disease” (or ATD, as it is referred to), and in an effort to do one last amazing thing, Ann and Carl travel from Paris to Germany. On their trip, the pair search for a miracle cure for Ann’s disease, and meet as many people as they can along the way, all aided by a mysterious character called The Third Man (who plays all other intermittent roles). Full of strange and quirky characters and heartfelt connection, The Baltimore Waltz is Paula Voegel’s semi-autobiographical ode to her late brother. The dynamic combination of farcical silliness and poignant themes make The Baltimore Waltz a show you won’t soon forget.

Baltimore Waltz Poster


Kiss Me, Kate

Music by Cole Porter
Directed by Martin McClendon
Music direction by Jeremy Ryan Mossman

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event was canceled.

This Cole Porter classic tells the story of a troupe of actors putting on a musical rendition of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The project is spearheaded by director and producer Fred Graham, who plays Petruchio, alongside his ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi, a movie star playing Katherine in the production. Their vitriolic relationship is evident as they fight about Fred’s interest in the young actress Lois Lane, who is playing Bianca, and Lilli’s engagement to Washington insider Harrison Howell. As they work on the project, old sparks reignite between the duo. Meanwhile, Lois Lane’s boyfriend, Bill, lands the production in hot water with a $10,000 IOU that brings a pair of gangsters to the theatre. Even as passions flare and danger is imminent, the show must go on! Will Lilli and Fred reconcile? Will Bill’s debts be paid? Find out in this delightful musical comedy with music by the incomparable Cole Porter.

‘Kiss Me, Kate' poster


Away from the Mirror

Choreographed by Carthage dance students

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event was canceled.

The Department of Theatre presents its annual student dance concert, Away From The Mirror, providing Carthage’s emerging artists opportunities to develop their inspirations through dance, to share in the development of their own production, and to engage in community discourse. The program will feature new dance works developed by dance minors in a less produced revelation of the dance-making process.

‘Away from the Mirror' 2020 poster

• • • 



Directed by Professor Martin McClendon
Written by Melody Abbott ’18 & Lawrence Gums ’19

Carthage Theatre presents the world premiere of a new translation by Carthage classics major/theatre minor Melody Abbott ’18, and classics major and combat veteran Lawrence Gums ’19. As relevant today as it was when Sophocles first wrote it, this timeless tragedy follows the story of Ajax, hero warrior of the Trojan War, who is publicly humiliated when the armor of fallen hero Achilles is gifted to Odysseus instead of him. Ajax vows revenge on the generals who have dishonored him, but is tricked by the goddess Athena into thinking a flock of sheep is actually a group of his enemies, whom he slaughters. Coming to his senses, Ajax is humiliated by his actions and teeters on the verge of suicide. Will he take his own life, or can his wife Tekmessa and his own soldiers convince him to stay alive?

Our new adaptation of “Ajax” aims to bridge the ancient and the contemporary, and shine a light on the current epidemic of PTSD and veteran suicide, exploring the issues faced by those who come home from war and attempt to re-enter society.



The Taming

Directed by Mitch Weindorf ’13
Written by Lauren Gunderson

Based on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” this raucous political satire combines an ambitious beauty queen, an ultra-conservative senator’s aide, and a liberal blogger in an all-female power play that examines political unrest, beauty pageants, and what it means to be an American in the modern world. Katherine is an ambitious pageant queen with colossal plans to revolutionize the American government. The only two things standing in her way are an ultra-conservative aide on the cusp of a career breakthrough and a bleeding-heart liberal unwilling to be swayed. Between clashing views and an unexpected trip through the ether to Revolution-era America, the three women discover they may not be as different as they seem. Fraught with comedic explorations of political extremism and obstructionist patriarchy, “The Taming” is a civic stunner not to be missed!

“The Taming”


Up and Away

Directed by Professor Herschel Kruger
Written by Eric Simonson

The 10th installment of Carthage’s New Play Initiative, “Up and Away,” directed by Professor Herschel Kruger and written by Oscar-winner Eric Simonson, is a drama set in rural Wisconsin. It tracks up-and-coming YouTube star Madison, whose attempt to rise out of poverty and isolation is threatened by drug addiction. Will she and her friends break free from their circumstances or tumble down like so many before them?

The play serves as a timely call-to-action about the rising heroin epidemic and the lives it impacts. Talk-back sessions featuring a variety of local health organizations will follow each performance.

Eric Simonson has been a writer and producer for Amazon original shows “The Man in the High Castle” and “Homecoming,” and he won an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) in 2006. His Broadway credits include “Lombardi,” a hit play about the legendary Green Bay Packers coach; and “The Song of Jacob Zulu,” which was nominated for six Tony awards.

“Up and Away”


Vet Night of the Arts

The Carthage Theatre Department presents the third annual Vet Night of the Arts. The annual evening of performances brings local artists together to raise money for Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin (VOW), a Racine organization that provides food, shelter, and clothing to at-risk veterans.

The main event is a staged reading of interviews with residents of the James A. Peterson Veteran Village, a complex of fifteen tiny homes. These interviews, which Carthage representatives conducted over the last few months, will tell the true stories of these veterans and the lives they’ve led. The reading will be punctuated with some musical selections from instructor Brent Mitchell, and once again our lobby will display artwork generated by our Vet Art Encounter, where Carthage student artists and writers get together with vets and create artworks based on the meeting.

Local businesses donate gift certificates and raffle prizes to increase our donation to VOW. These range from free food or services to merchandise. Vet Night of the Arts began in 2016 with the help of theatre professor Martin McClendon and Carthage student Lawrence Gums ’19, a military veteran. Besides the readings, the annual show features art in forms such as paintings, poetry, and dance.

2018 Vet Night Poster



Directed by Stacy Pottinger

In the annual fall dance show, Artistic Director and Carthage Dance Program head Stacy Pottinger delivers a compelling production featuring rich and thoughtful pieces in a variety of styles. In this investigation of technique and emotion, students express deeply complex themes utilizing skill sets they have honed within their exploration of various techniques within the Carthage curriculum. The production showcases work by some of Carthage’s most talented and experienced dancers, and is built on the dedication and passion of both dancers and choreographers. With its commitment to artistry, “Resonate” is sure to be a feat of technical and creative brilliance.



Marie Antoinette

Directed by Herschel Kruger
Written by David Adjmi

In this contemporary twist on a historic tale, Whiting Award winning-playwright David Adjmi crafts an absurdist tragicomedy about the life and times of infamous royal and icon of lavish living, Marie Antoinette. The play begins in the heart of France’s love affair with their young queen; she is beautiful, stylish, and lives extravagantly. This love affair quickly sours as the French Revolution looms, and the young royal, once celebrated for her indulgent lifestyle, is now the center of vicious political and personal attacks. Adjmi explores society’s obsession with the distraction of celebrity through the lens of Antoinette, both as a style icon and as a controversial political figure. With the luxurious world of late 18th century France juxtaposed with a decidedly contemporary flair, “Marie Antoinette” provides new perspective on the superficiality of fame.

“Marie Antoinette”


God of Carnage

Directed by Ben Braun ’19
Written by Yasmina Reza

This insightful satire, written in Reza’s incendiary style, is an exploration of what happens when people’s deepest flaws come to light in tumultuous ways. The show follows two couples who meet up to discuss a disagreement between their respective children. The evening begins in a civil fashion, with each couple regarding one another with respect and dignity over the events that have transpired between their children. However, the night quickly descends into chaos as tempers flare and the couples struggle to find common ground. Bringing to the stage themes of racism, judgment, social status, and more, “God of Carnage”is a sharp and cunning drama that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

“God of Carnage”


Flora the Red Menace

Directed by Neil Kristian Scharnick
Music direction by Jeremy Ryan Mossman
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb
Book by George Abbott and Robert Russell

From the artistic team that brought you the Broadway hit “Cabaret” comes Kander and Ebb’s “Flora the Red Menace.” At the height of the Great Depression, headstrong future fashion designer Flora Mezaros desperately searches for employment, applying for jobs at different department stores in New York until she finds herself at Garrett and Mellick’s. There she meets the handsome, but shy, Harry Toukarian, a young artist and member of the Communist Party. Flora’s world is looking up as she gets the job at Garrett and Mellick’s, and realizes she is falling in love with Harry. But now Flora finds herself torn between her career and her commitment to Harry and his cause. Will she be able to balance both sides of her life, or will she ultimately have to choose? Find out in this 1965 treasure by iconic musical theatre duo John Kander and Fred Ebb.

“Flora and the Red Menace”


Away from the Mirror

Choreographed by dance students

In our annual student dance concert, Carthage’s emerging artists are provided the platform to develop their unique sense of self and style through dance. All pieces are student choreographed and revolve around the themes that speak to individuals members of the Carthage dance program. Using a range of techniques and genres, students access greater artistic development, bringing their unique perspective to the Carthage stage. Given the creative freedom for artistic expression, student choreographers create engaging works of virtuosity.

Away from the Mirror


• • •


Twin Set

Written by MT Cozzola
Directed by Martin McClendon

Sisters Meggy and Betty do everything together; they work together, volunteer at their church together, live together in a cute apartment, and even dress identically in meticulously planned outfits. They are happy in their routine until a former classmate, the cynical Marnie, returns to their hometown to finalize a divorce. Sympathetic to Marnie’s bad fortune, the sisters welcome her into their home and find their world turned upside down by Marnie’s untraditional ways. As Marnie becomes more involved in the sisters’ day-to-day activities, they find themselves second-guessing their way of life. Betty begins to question her past as Meggy looks toward the future. Will the two reconnect and return to their usual routine, or will they discover their lives have been irrevocably changed by Marnie’s arrival? Find out in this dark and thrilling comedy written by Chicago Dramatists resident playwright MT Cozzola.

“Twin Set”


Mother Courage and Her Children

Written by Bertolt Brecht
Directed by Mary MacDonald Kerr

Told over the course of 12 years, this story follows Mother Courage and her three children: the proud and bold Eilif, her eldest son; Swiss Cheese, her simple and honest son; and Kattrin, her mute but selfless daughter. Mother Courage makes her living during the Thirty Years’ War, a bloody battle between Catholics and Protestants in the crumbling Holy Roman Empire. Despite being decidedly against the war, she profits from it as she travels throughout Europe selling supplies to soldiers. However, as she finds herself traveling deeper into the war, tragedy strikes her family. Mother Courage must continue on, doing whatever it takes to survive the tribulations of her chaotic world. Considered to be one of the greatest anti-war plays of all time, this cautionary tale is deeply heartbreaking yet tragically comedic. As one of Bertolt Brecht’s greatest protests to the rise of fascism in 1930s Germany, “Mother Courage and Her Children” is a dark satire about the effect war has on the people living through it.

“Mother Courage”


Nimble Attitudes

Artistic Director: Stacy Pottinger

In this dynamic and intriguing production, artistic director Stacy Pottinger delivers an unprecedented compilation of dance works featuring some of Carthage’s most highly developed and skilled artists. In this investigation of technique and emotion, students express deeply complex themes using skill sets they have honed through their exploration of various techniques within the Carthage curriculum. The fall dance show is an unparalleled masterpiece, featuring guest artists  Kristina Saldarelli, Joey Hernandez, and Courtney Petrocci alongside Carthage’s very own emerging choreographers.

“Nimble Attitudes”



Silent Sky

Written by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Herschel Kruger

Based on the true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, “Silent Sky” explores women’s role in society and the social progress that accompanied the scientific discoveries at the turn of the century. Leavitt’s work at the Harvard University observatory is at first unnoticed, as she is placed in a women’s think tank largely discredited by the university’s male scientists. She is unable to express her ideas, and they often go ignored until claimed by a man. She is denied access to technology to further her work yet fights alongside the strong women supporting her to make her contribution known. In her free time, she works to measure the light and distance of stars, while also attempting to find balance between her work and her familial obligations, and considering the possibility of love in her future. A poignant tale of empowerment, “Silent Sky” invites audiences to experience how Leavitt and her colleagues fought to change the world’s perception of both the world around them and what lies beyond.

“Silent Sky”


Away from the Mirror

Choreographed by Carthage dance students

In the annual student dance concert, Carthage’s emerging artists take advantage of the platform to develop their unique sense of self and style through dance. All pieces are student-choreographed and revolve around themes and ideas from which each student derives inspiration. Using a range of techniques and genres, students access greater artistic development that brings fresh and innovative movement to the stage. Given the creative freedom for artistic expression, student choreographers create engaging works of virtuosity.

“Away from the Mirror”


Into the Woods

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Directed by Neil Kristian Scharnick

“Into the Woods”, written by seven-time Tony Award-winning composer Stephen Sondheim, reinvents beloved fairy tales to tell a new and captivating story. The show follows a handful of characters: The Baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wants to go to the ball; Jack, who wishes he could keep his beloved pet cow, Milky White; and Little Red Riding Hood, who wants to deliver bread and sweets to her ailing grandmother. The Baker and his wife are visited by the Witch who lives next door. She reveals to them that she has placed a curse on their family, which they must reverse to have their child. Set upon their respective tasks, the characters head into the woods to achieve their goals and find their happily ever afters. Winning Tonys for Best Original Score and  Best Book of a Musical, along with the Drama Desk award for Outstanding Musical, “Into the Woods” is a spellbinding story full of heart and determination that is sure to enchant audiences from overture to final curtain.

“Into the Woods”


• • • 


The Invisible Hand

Written by Ayad Akhtar
Directed by Marie Tredway ’17 and Herschel Kruger

In remote Pakistan, Nick Bright awaits his fate. A successful investment banker who has been kidnapped by an Islamic militant group, Nick takes matters into his own hands when no one will negotiate for his release. Full of questionable alliances and moral bargaining, The Invisible Hand is a chilling examination of how far we will go to survive and the consequences of the choices we make.

Carthage Theatre Presents "The Invisible Hand"


Marriage à la Mode

Written by John Dryden
Directed by Neil Kristian Scharnick

This enduring restoration play is updated to 1930 Sicily for a charming and engaging look at love and relationships. Blending satire and romance, Dryden’s masterpiece demonstrates that the most stylish love is simple and true.

Marriage A La Mode


Vet Night of the Arts

Join for Carthage College’s Vet Night of the Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Wartburg Theatre. This evening of theatre, dance, video, and visual art is inspired by those who serve. Both veterans and non-veterans are welcome. The night will feature the following people:

  • Matthew Hefti, Wisconsin author
  • Yvette Pino, Veteran Print Project
  • Edwin Olvera, Choreographer, dancer
  • Stacy Pottinger, Carthage Dance Program

There will be an open discussion with the artists along with refreshments and raffle prizes from local businesses. All proceeds go to support Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin, assisting homeless veterans in Southeast Wisconsin.

Vet Flyer


Vanishing Point

Concert Coordinator/Director: Stacy Pottinger

An expressionist work about a self-fulfilling prophecy, a complex investigation of partner work and weight sharing, a formalist work that is both dynamic and intriguingly developed — Vanishing Point is a program of dance works featuring choreography by Artistic Director Stacy Pottinger, as well as guest choreographers Valerie Gonzalez and Piper Morgan Hayes.

Vanishing Point


The Regina Taylor Project: A Seat at the Table (New Play Initiative World Premiere)

Written by Regina Taylor
Directed by Martin McClendon
Music Direction by Dimirti Shapovalov

Our new play commission for 2017 focuses on the life of voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, from her beginnings in abject poverty to the halls of power in Washington, where she testified before Congress with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Utilizing iconic songs immortalized during the struggle for civil rights, this new play will span Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer’s life while still connecting to contemporary struggles regarding race.

“Nobody's free until everybody's free.” — Fannie Lou Hamer


Away From the Mirror

Choreographed by Carthage dance students

The annual dance show featured a wide range of repertoire, including pieces in formalist, post-modern, hip hop, tap, contemporary, and lyrical styles; and soloists, duets, and group numbers, all of which are created and continually improved by the students. Student choreographers were invited to the stage before each number to share the questions and ideas they explored in the creation of their pieces. However, with the highly immersive nature of the Studio Theatre space, choreographers hope to have inspired audiences to discover their own insights and interpretations. It presents a more intimate connection between performer and spectator.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Written by Rupert Holmes
Directed by John Maclay
Music Direction by Amy Haines and E. Ed Kawakami

Based on the unfinished manuscript of Charles Dickens’ last novel, Drood features an interactive twist: every night, the audience gets to choose the ending!

The Mystery of Edwin Drood


• • •


Afghanistan/Wisconsin Verbatim Theatre Project    

Written by Laurel Mckenzie ’16 and Martin McClendon
Directed by Martin McClendon

The Afghanistan/Wisconsin Verbatim Theatre Project is a new play about the experiences of Wisconsin veterans of the Afghanistan conflict, based on personal interviews with local veterans collected over the summer of 2015. With the mission of fostering better understanding between vets and non-vets, the play will take audiences inside the reality of training, deployment, and re-entry into the civilian world. Come see and hear veteran’s stories and viewpoints, in the veteran’s own words!


Stage Kiss  

Written by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Herschel Kruger

When two actors with a history are thrown together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930’s melodrama, they quickly lose touch with reality as the story they enact onstage follows them offstage. Stage Kiss is the newest play from award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl, an artist gifted with a singular voice. It is a charming tale about what happens when lovers share a stage kiss—or when actors share a real one.



Dance Concert: Juxtapositions

Concert Coordinator/Director: Stacy Pottinger

Carthage presents its fall dance concert, Juxtapositions, a web of dance works woven by moments of curious, delightful, and unexpected juxtapositions. The program features choreography by guests Valerie Gonzalez, Piper Morgan Hayes, Kristina Saldarelli, and emerging choreographers, Megan Brancato, Libby Nelson, and Samantha Thone.  

The Breath of Stars (New Play Initiative World Premiere)

Written by Caridad Svich
Directed by Neil Kristian Scharnick

The eighth installment in Carthage Theatre’s New Play Initiative is about the spinning globe, a lost city of strings, electric dreams, and finding a lover again in the body of a stranger.

The Breath of Stars looks at the workings of memory through stories of love and loss in the contemporary world. Written by Obie-Award winning playwright Caridad Svich specially for Carthage Theatre, the play reconfigures Shakespeare’s Tempest for the digital age.  A modern day Ariel has lost someone named Prospero, who is now only a picture in cyberspace. Another Ariel — perhaps a double or mirror image of the first — misses him too. As the Ariels move through spaces of loss, other worlds open up, revealing a haunting group of characters and stories, all tied together through the invisible bonds of technology.




Written by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis
Directed by guest artist Mary MacDonald Kerr

Winner of three Tony Awards, Urinetown is a hilarious musical send-up of capitalism, social irresponsibility, bureaucracy, and musical theatre itself!  In a dystopian future, a 20-year drought has led to a ban on private toilets. Citizens must use public toilets regulated by an evil company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. From within the oppressed masses, a hero plans a revolution that could lead them all to freedom!  Carthage welcomes noted Milwaukee area actor/director Mary Macdonald Kerr to direct our production.


Dance Concert: Away From The Mirror

Student Concert Coordinator: Libby Nelson
Directed by Kristina Saldarelli

Carthage presents its annual student dance concert, Away From The Mirror, providing Carthage’s emerging artists opportunities to develop and share their inspirations through dance, to learn about the choreographic process, and to share in the development of their own production. The program will feature new dance works developed by dance minors in a less produced revelation of the dance making process.

• • •


Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead    

Written by Tom Stoppard
Directed by Neil Kristian Scharnick

This clever and absurd Tony-­winning comedy turns Hamlet on its head, telling Shakespeare’s classic tale from the bewildered perspective of two incidental characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Follow them as they weave in and out of Hamlet’s troubled life, trying to make sense of their own.



Day After Night    

Written by Mikaley Osley ’14, adapted from the novel by Anita Diamant
World Premiere
Directed by Herschel Kruger

Day After Night is based on the extraordinary true story of the 1945 rescue of more than two hundred prisoners from the Atlit internment camp, run by the British military near the Mediterranean coast south of Haifa. Set in the aftermath of the Second World War, the story is told through the eyes of four young women at the camp with profoundly different stories. Haunted by unspeakable memories and losses, afraid to begin to hope, Shayndel, Leonie, Tedi, and Zorah find salvation in the bonds of friendship and shared experience even as they confront the challenge of re­creating themselves in a strange new country.

Day After Night is a world premiere adaptation of Anita Diamant’s powerful novel, written by Carthage Theatre alum and award-­winning playwright Mikaley Osley ’14. The culmination of several years of collaboration and work, the play is a compelling addition to Carthage’s First-Year Experience program.



Faculty Directed Dance Concert: Points of Departure

Concert Coordinator/Director: Stacy Pottinger

The Carthage Theatre Department presents its formal concert of dance works mined from the unique choreographic inquiries of its dance faculty, guest artists, and students. This season’s concert will continue to engage audiences, as it has in the past, through vibrant performances and dances that are each points of departure into kinesthetic discourses.



Up the Hill

Written by Keith Huff
New Play Initiative World Premiere
Directed by Martin McClendon

Every Spring, Carthage Theatre’s New Play Initiative gives you the opportunity to see a world premiere play from a prominent writer. This year acclaimed Emmy Award-winning screenwriter and playwright Keith Huff (AMC’s Mad Men, Netflix’s House of CardsA Steady Rain on Broadway) crafts a gripping story of youthful idealism confronting terrible choices. Jill and Jack are new congressional interns, each excited to be serving their country in Washington D.C.’s corridors of power. But before very long, both of them get caught in a web of blackmail and political intrigue that will force them to question everything they believe. Against all odds, can they really make a difference? Or will they become part of the problem? Come see the twists and turns they take in our world premiere production of Keith Huff’s latest work. 
* This play is intended for mature audiences due to its adult content.




Dance Concert: Away From The Mirror

Artistic Direction by Stacy Pottinger
Featuring choreography by Carthage Dance Minors

This unique presentation by Carthage dance minors features new dance works created by our very own emerging choreographers­­ each sharing their inspirations through dance in a less formal revelation of the dance making process. The program culminates from a series of feedback showings through which works are presented as drafts at different stages of development. Choreographers introduce their work and engage in discussion with audiences following the performance.




Man of La Mancha

Written by Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion, and Mitch Leigh
Directed by Herschel Kruger

Adapted from Miguel de Cervantes’ famous novel Don Quixote. Winner of five Tony Awards, Man of La Mancha is one of the best ­loved musicals of all time. Poet and playwright Miguel de Cervantes is arrested and put in prison by the soldiers of the Spanish Inquisition after staging a comic performance mocking the Spanish government. Awaiting trial, Cervantes is assailed by his fellow prisoners, who try to seize the manuscript of his masterpiece, Don Quixote. His inspired response: a challenge to join him in staging his stirring tale of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, a noble knight and his sidekick bent on an obsessive quest to attain an impossible dream.


The Motherf****r With the Hat

Written by Steven Adly Guirgis
Directed by Abbey Bobzin ’15

With the help of his girlfriend Veronica, AA sponsor Ralph D., and devoted cousin Julio, recovering addict Jackie is out on parole and ready to get his life on track. When he sees an unfamiliar hat sitting on the table, Jackie questions his progress and the mysterious hat that threatens all he’s worked for. Full of poetic profanity and raw power, The Motherf**ker with the Hat hilariously delivers a touching account of broken people and their struggle to become whole.

WARNING: ADULT CONTENT, for mature audiences only


Devised Theatre Project    

Directed by Nicole Middleton ’15

Carthage Theatre’s focus on new work continues with our final production of the season. Using devised ­theatre and improvisational­ theatre methods, a team of Carthage Theatre students and designers, led by student director Nicole Middleton ’15, will create a brand new play. There’s no telling what this bunch of smart, creative young artists will come up with, but one thing is certain: you don’t want to miss it! 

• • •


Stars in the Morning Sky

By Alexander Galin
United States premiere of a new translation and adaptation by Chris Hannan
Directed by Martin McClendon


It’s 1980 and the Olympic torchbearer is approaching a proud and eager city of Moscow. But not every proud Russian is allowed to join the celebration; the government wants to show the world a sanitized version of the Soviet Union. A band of exiled “undesirables” pass this unforgettable night together beyond the outskirts of the city, sharing a night of anger, humor, despair, and hope.


As You Like It

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Anna Antaramian


Join Rosalind, Celia, and Touchstone on their adventurous flight into the Forest of Arden in Carthage Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s beloved classic. Directed by faculty member Anna Antaramian, As You Like It is among Shakespeare’s most celebrated pastoral comedies: a heartwarming tale of rejection, redemption, loyalty, and love.


Dance Concert: Kinesthetic Chitchat

Artistic Direction by Stacy Pottinger
Featuring choreography by Carthage Dance Faculty and guests


The Theatre Department presents its formal concert of dance works mined from the unique choreographic expressions of its dance faculty and students. This season’s concert will continue to engage audiences, as it has in the past, by presenting vibrant and diverse dances, inspiring performances, and by lighting the kinesthetic spark within us all.


Smoking Lesson

Directed by Student Director Bitzy Coats


Smoking Lesson is a coming-of-age adventure filled with secrets, deception, and transformation. In the midst of sharing a dangerous secret under an old railroad trestle, Tare and her friends meet the local burnout, Tom.  He teaches the three girls how to smoke with class, but stirs up trouble in their friendship.  As Tom’s relationship with Tare unfolds, so do her secrets—with tragic results.


No Name (World Premiere)

By Jeffrey Hatcher
Adapted from the novel by Wilkie Collins
Directed by Herschel Kruger


A sheltered, well-to-do young Englishwoman and her sister are thrown into poverty overnight by a distant relative who lays claim to their inheritance. Desperate to protect her family, the daring young Magdalen bands together with a shifty con man and hatches an outrageous plot to reclaim her wealth. But can she win a fortune without losing her soul?

Carthage Theatre is thrilled to announce Jeffrey Hatcher as the 2013-2014 participant in its New Play Initiative. Hatcher’s original works and adaptations have been seen and celebrated in New York, across the country, and internationally, with productions at the Guthrie, the Old Globe, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Milwaukee Rep, Yale Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Acting Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Denver Center, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Seattle Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, and countless more. Screenwriting credits include: Stage Beauty (adapted from his play Compleat Female Stage Beauty), Casanova, and The Duchess. For Carthage, Hatcher will be adapting the endearing Wilkie Collins novel, “No Name.”


Dance Concert: Away From The Mirror

Artistic Direction by Stacy Pottinger
Featuring choreography by Carthage Dance Minors


2014 marks the fifth anniversary of the student dance concert, Away From The Mirror! The presentation will again feature new dance works created by Carthage’s own emerging choreographers, each sharing their inspirations through dance in a less formal revelation of the dance making process. The program will culminate from a series of feedback showings through which works are presented as drafts at different stages of development. This year, the concert will feature choreographers and performers engaged in their craft as they develop their works from the studio to the stage.


Mercy Killers

By Michael Milligan
Directed by Tom Oppenheim


Joe loves apple pie, Rush Limbaugh, the 4th of July and his wife, Jane. He is blue-collar, corn-fed, made in the USA and proud, but when his uninsured wife is diagnosed with cancer, his patriotic feelings and passion for the ethos of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are turned upside down. In “Mercy Killers,” a one-man play with Broadway actor Michael Milligan, Joe struggles with the uniquely American experience of losing your health in the land of plenty. 


Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

By David Yazbek and Jeffrey Lane
Directed by Neil Kristian Scharnick


Con artist Lawrence has it made, living a life of sophisticated luxury on the French Riviera. His peace and livelihood are threatened when an American hustler known as “the Jackal” arrives in Lawrence’s posh domain. Adapted from the popular 1988 film, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels asks how far a man is willing to go—or how low a scoundrel is willing to stoop—to win a bet and make a buck.


The Inn

By Mikaley Osley
Directed by Courtney Matula


Perched on the edge of the Abyss, Charlotte manages an inn for Soul Collectors, who escort the newly deceased to Hell. But what happens when a soul scheduled for delivery goes missing?  Needless to say the devil’s not happy. Join us and see how Charlotte and her guests face up to their lives (and deaths) in an epic struggle for a wayward soul.


• • • 


Boeing Boeing

Written by Marc Camoletti
Directed by Martin McClendon


It’s the swinging sixties in Paris, and Bernard, a successful architect, has a big secret: he’s juggling three air hostess fiancées at once! So far the airline timetables keep the ladies from meeting each other, but that’s about to change as the superfast new Boeing jets come into service! This Tony-winning comedy will keep you laughing from takeoff until the final bumpy landing!



Written by Moliere
Translation by Richard Wilbur
Directed by John Maclay


French playwright Moliere’s brilliant satire of religious quackery, Tartuffe is a haughty, self-righteous phony who inveigles his way into a wealthy household. Not content with robbing his host blind in the name of the Almighty, Tartuffe also sets about to seduce the lady of the house. When the play was originally presented, Moliere was forced to shoehorn in a scene showing Tartuffe’s punishment at the hands of the authorities; the best possible way of distancing Tartuffe’s fraudulent piety from the real-life power abuses then being perpetrated by the Church.


Moveable Moments

Artistic Director Stacy Pottinger Featuring choreography by Carthage Dance faculty and guests


“Moveable Moments” features new dances created by distinctive choreographic voices for the Carthage Theatre Department’s annual dance concert. This year’s concert will present new dance works by faculty, guests and students and will feature a new repertory work by a legacy dance artist made possible through the American Dance Legacy Initiative’s Repertory Etudes Instructional Collection. Watch Carthage dance artists stretch, turn, leap and reach to greater heights as they transform moveable moments into moving dance experiences.


A Clamour of Rooks

Written by Martin Maguire in collaboration with Carthage Theatre and Patrick Sutton of the Gaiety School of Acting, National Theatre School of Ireland Directed by Neil Scharnick


Prodigal daughter Sophia returns home to care for her dying mother, not sure how or why. Her efforts to save her mother and find reconciliation lead her on a nightmarish fairy-tale journey deep into the unspeakable memories of their troubled past. “A Clamour of Rooks” is not a fairy tale, it is an explorartion of how fairy tales both reveal and obscure the scary and painful realities of human existence. This new play by Irish dramatist Martin Maguire, in collaboration with Carthage Theatre and the Gaiety School of Acting, National Theatre School of Ireland, premieres at historic Smock Alley Theatre—1662 before coming to Carthage.


Spring Awakening

Music by Duncan Sheik
Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater
Directed by Herschel Kruger
Choreography by Emma Draves


Winner of 8 Tony Awards, including best musical, “Spring Awakening” celebrates the unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood with a power, poignancy, and passion that you will never forget. Adapted from Frank Wedekind’s 1891 expressionist play about the trials, tears and exhilaration of the teen years, it has been hailed as the “Best Musical of the Year” by the New York Times, New York Post, Star Ledger, Journal News, New York Observer, and USA Today.


The Glass Menagerie 

Written by Tennessee Williams
Directed by Mitch Weindorf


Journey up the fire escape and into the Wingfield home as Tom narrates the audience through “truth in a pleasant disguise of illusion.” His mom, Amanda, overcome by recollections of her days as a Southern belle, projects impossible standards on her shy daughter Laura. Crippled in body and spirit, Laura dotes upon a world of fragile glass animals. Amanda’s hopes and dreams for Laura seem to be fulfilled when Tom brings home a gentleman caller for his sister. The Glass Menagerie marked a crucial turning point in American theater and brought critical success to Tennessee Williams. The tragedy, fragility, and tenderness of this “memory play” have made it one of America’s most powerful, timeless and compelling plays.


Student Dance Show 

Performance in Wartburg Auditorium


For the fourth year, Carthage dance minors will present a student dance concert. This showcase of dance works provides student dances the opportunity to develop and present their own choreography in an informal setting. The program features a variety of dance styles including jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, and contemporary dance, with performances by Carthage students.


No Exit

Written by Jean Paul Sarte
Directed by Shannon Fox


Imagine that hell is an eternity spent with the two other people you despise the most. You never sleep, and the lights never go out. “No Exit” was written in 1944 by Jean Paul Sarte who composed the original original draft in two weeks at the Café Flore in Paris. It is considered by many to be the author’s best play and most accessible dramatization of his philosophy of existentialism.


 • • •


Almost Maine 

Written by John Cariani
Directed by Neil Scharnick


Almost Maine follows the residents of the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways.


Inspecting Carol

Written by Daniel J. Sullivan
Directed by Herschel Kruger


In this hilarious hit from Seattle, a man who asks to audition at a small theatre is mistaken for an informer for the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s A Christmas Carol meets The Government Inspector meets Noises Off.



Directed by David Duncan ’12


Directed by student director David Duncan ’12, drama unfolds when a college professor and his female student become embroiled in a war of words that takes a dangerous turn. As their serene campus transforms into a battleground for justice, David Mamet’s explosive masterpiece dares you to pick a side, if you can. Frank Rich of The New York Times said the play “is likely to provoke more arguments than any play this year.”

A poster for “Oleanna,” a Carthage Theatre production from spring 2012.


Imagine, Inspire, Illuminate

Artistic Director Stacy Pottinger Featuring choreography by Carthage Dance faculty and guests


Each year, the Theatre Department stages a formal concert of new dance works mined from the inspirations of its talented faculty and students. The show is choreographed by Stacy Pottinger, adjunct assistant professor of theatre, and guests. As an experimental cornerstone to the department’s developing dance minor program, this annual concert provides opportunities for student dancers to grow as performing artists and permits creative endeavors within the discipline of dance to have a home at Carthage.


Ghost Bike

Written by Laura Jacqmin
Directed by Herschel Kruger


In Ghost Bike, Ora and Eddie, best friends since elementary school, fall in love with the city on their bikes. But when Eddie is hit by a car and killed, Ora refuses to let him go. Armed only with an electric map of ghost bike memorials, Ora rides beneath the city to have one last conversation with her friend.


The Drowsy Chaperone

Music by Lias Lambert and Greg Morrison
Directed by Martin McClendon


The curtain rises on a present-day musical theatre fanatic eager to tell the audience about his favorite Broadway musical, The Drowsy Chaperone. He’s the ultimate Everyfan and Drowsy is his guilty pleasure. As he begins listening to the rare cast recording, the show cleverly and magically blooms to life, telling the hilarious tale of a pampered Broadway starlet and her debonair fiance, an overzealous producer, a dizzy chorine, a Latin lover and a couple of bumbling gangsters. Ruses are played, hi-jinks occur, and the plot spins everyone into musical comedy euphoria.


Away From the Mirror

Choreographed by Carthage Dance Minors
Concert Coordinator: Stacy Pottinger


For the third year, Carthage dance minors will present a student dance concert. This showcase of dance works provides student dancers the opportunity to develop and present their own choreography in an informal setting. The program features a variety of dance styles including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Contemporary Dance with performances by Carthage students who want to dance.


• • •


Biloxi Blues

Written by Neil Simon
Directed by Thomas Novak


Second in Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical Brighton Beach Trilogy, Biloxi Blues follows Eugene M. Jerome through basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi in the summer of 1943. Accompanying Eugene on his ride from Fort Dix, New Jersey, are a group of boys from all along the east coast who get sculpted into men by a sergeant as hard as the metal plate in his head. Eugene has three goals to accomplish while fighting in this war; to become a writer, to not get killed and to lose his virginity.

Biloxi Blues was performed at Carthage College.


Dead Man’s Cell Phone

Written by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Neil Scharnick


A woman sits alone in a quiet cafe—quiet but for the incessant ringing of a cell phone. Why won’t its owner answer? Because he’s dead. So begins this wildly imaginative new comedy by MacArthur “Genius” Grant recipient and Pulitzer finalist Sarah Ruhl. What follows is the unpredictable odyssey of a woman forced to face her assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need for human connection in a technology-crazed world.


Away From The Mirror

Choreographed by Carthage Dance Minors
Concert Coordinator: Stacy Pottinger


For the second year, Carthage dance minors will present a student dance concert. This showcase of dance works provides student dancers the opportunity to develop and present their own choreography in an informal setting. The program features a variety of dance styles including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Contemporary Dance with performances by Carthage students who want to dance. 


The Rail Splitter

Written by Guest Artist Rick Cleveland
Directed by Martin McClendon


“The Rail Splitter” a new play by Rick Cleveland, is a searing and satiric docudrama-for-the-stage chronicling the author’s attempts to write a new play about Abraham Lincoln as a young man. The student actors of Carthage College who took part in it lived through a theatrical eperience that proved controversial, sublimely ridiculous, and tragic, but that also illuminated the human condition as only theatre can do.


Kinetic Horizons

Choreographed by Stacy Pottinger and guests


Each year, the Theatre Department presents a formal concert of new dance works mined from the inspirations of its talented faculty and students. As an experiential cornerstone to the department’s developing dance minor program, this annual concert provides opportunites for student dances to develop as performing artists and permits new creative endeavors within the discipline of dance to have a home at Carthage College. This season’s concert will continue to broaden our kinetic horizons, by presenting vibrant and diverse dances, engaging performances, and by lighting the thrill of moving and of being moved within us all.



Written by Joe Masteroff
Directed by Herschel Kruger
Music by John Kander and Lyrics by Fred Ebb


At a night club in Berlin, as the 1920s are drawing to a close, the master of ceremonies assures the audience that they will forget their troubles at the Cabaret. Heading for Berlin is Clifford Bradshaw, a young impoverished American writer roaming Europe searching for inspiration for novel number two. He is joined by Ernst Ludwig, an attractive young Berliner who appears to be in the smuggling business. Musical numbers include It Couldn’t Please Me More, Wilkommen, Caberet, Don’t Tell Mama and Two Ladies.


Doubt: A Parable

Written by John Patrick Shanley
Directed by student Lauren Bianchi


Sister Aloysius, head principal at St. Catherine’s school and parish, takes matters into her own hands when she suspects the young priest, Father Flynn, of improper relations with one of the male students. With the suspicions of Sister James in hand, Aloysius calls in the priest to confront him and then the young boy’s mother to reveal her suspicions. An unexpected turn of events leaves Sister Aloysius with more Doubt than ever.


Beautiful Bodies

Written by Laura Shaine Cunningham
Directed by student Sarah Sellars


Six long-time friends reunite to throw a baby shower one evening for their friend Claire. Differing personalities and ideals clash as the women talk about the choices they have made. Their stories show the struggle between wanting to be independent and not wanting to be alone as they confront the fact that the “love” that they dreamed of when they were seven might not be that easy to find. As the night goes on these women are able to find things to laugh about, talk about (and fight about) as they consider decisions they have made.


• • • 


Room Service

Written by John Murray and Allen Boretz
Directed by Martin McClendon


New York, 1937: Producer Gordon Miller is rehearsing Broadway’s next hit play. It’s a great show, but without investors, it’s going nowhere. The author is thinking of giving the rights to someone else, and to top it off, he and his cast are about to get locked out of their hotel! If he can just stay in his room long enough to meet the right backer. Gordon’s crew of theatrical con-men (and women!) will have to employ every trick in the book to outwit and outlast the hotel manager and the bill collectors, convince a skittish backer, and hold on to their show until the final curtain!

Room Service was performed at Carthage College.



Written by Aristophanes
Directed by Herschel Kruger


The third and concluding play of Aristophanes’ War and Peace series. It is now the twenty-first year of the Peloponnesian War and there seems as little prospect of peace as ever. A desperate state of things demands a desperate remedy in this comical account of one woman’s extraordinary mission to end the war. Lysistrata convinces the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace.

Lysistrata was performed at Carthage College.


Far Away

Written by Caryl Churchill
Guest Directed by Linda Gillum


A mysterious journey of a girl who witnesses beauty and destruction in a world where humans, animals and the elements conspire against each other. Parental figures and animals protect their
young while siding with oppositional forces. Caryl Churchill’s powerful, haunting play is alluring and disturbing and will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.

Far Away was performed at Carthage College.


One Day in the Season of Rain

Written by Mohan Rakesh
New Translation by Aparna Dharwadker and Vinay Dharwadker
Directed by Neil Scharnick


As rain soaks the Indian countryside, local poet Kalidasa has a difficult decision to make. He has been invited to claim the title of court poet — a title promising fame and glory. However, to accept this honor would mean leaving behind the village that bore him and the woman who inspires him. This newly retranslated play is both a touching love story and a modern imagining of the life and trials surrounding India’s greatest classical poet.


Sunday in the Park with George

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed by Herschel Kruger


Originally nominated for 10 Tony Awards and winning the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this Broadway musical was inspired by the painting, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grande Jatte,” by Georges Seurat. A complex work revolving around a fictionalized Seurat immersed in single-minded concentration while painting the masterpiece.

Sunday in the Park with George was performed at Carthage College.


Higher Altitudes

Choreographed by Carthage Dance Faculty
Annie Hackett and Stacy Pottinger


The Theatre Department produces the third annual dance concert featuring choreography by Carthage dance faculty Annie Hackett and Stacy Pottinger.



Written by Margaret Edson
Directed by Thomas Novak


Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the brilliant and difficult metaphysical sonnets of John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her approach to the study of Donne: aggressively probing, intensely rational. But during the course of her illness — and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program at a major teaching hospital — Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and the audience.


• • •


Rabbit Hole

Written by David Lindsey-Abaire
Directed by Dana Peters


Becca and Howie Corbett have everything a family could want, until a life-shattering accident turns their world upside down and leaves the couple drifting perilously apart. Rabbit Hole charts their bittersweet search for comfort in the darkest of places and for a path that will lead them back into the light of day.

Rabbit Hole was performed at Carthage College.


The Good Woman of Setzuan

Written by Bertolt Brecht 
Directed by Martin McClendon


Three ancient Chinese gods come to Earth to find one good person, but Shen Te the prostitute is the only one in Setzuan who will take them in. The gods reward her with a fortune, and Shen Te’s poor relatives descend upon her, creating chaos. Suddenly her mysterious cousin Shui Ta appears and ruthlessly restores order, but Shen Te finds her troubles are only beginning. Can she survive and be good too? Playwright Bertolt Brecht’s gripping play looks at people living on the edge and the choices they must make to survive. 

The Good Woman of Setzuan was performed at Carthage College.


Fighting Words

Written by Sunil Kuruvilla 
Directed by Kevin Rich


In 1980, boxer Johnny Owen traveled from the small mining town of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, to Los Angeles to challenger Lupe Pintor for the world bantamweight championship. It is the story of the women who watched the fight on television while baking in Wales. As they bake a cake, readying for the gathering of women at the gym, Peg, Nia, and Mrs. Davies support and ridicule each other as they reveal their secrets and dreams. As the cake rises in the kitchen, so do the tempers as the women fight about who knows Johnny best, then about which one of them he loves more.

Fighting Words was performed at Carthage College.



Written by Academy Award Winner and Tony Nominated Writer and Director Eric Simonson 
Directed by Herschel Kruger 


Writer Guy Prescott seems to have it all —youth, celebrity, and a huge advance from one of the biggest publishing houses in the country—until one day a stranger comes to his door and demands he tell him who he really is. What follows is a fascinating tale that takes us back in time, first to Guy’s heady college days, and then to a strange and traumatic family history. It’s a journey fraught with intrigue, lies, heartbreak and the ultimate hoax: self-deception.

Honest was performed at Carthage College.


Thoroughly Modern Millie

New Music by Jeanine Tesori 
New Lyrics by Dick Scanlan 
Book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan 
Directed by Neil Scharnick 
Musical Direction by Amy Haines


Would-be flapper Millie Dillmont leaves Kansas and its safe, familiar drudgeries for Manhattan, determined to get a secretarial job with a rich, handsome boss she can marry. But her scheme to become “thoroughly modern” is sidetracked when she finds herself falling in love with a penniless romantic. Based on the 1967 film musical, this rollicking, unpretentious 2002 Tony winner recalls the joyful “Cinderella musicals” of the 1920s.

Thoroughly Modern Millie was performed at Carthage College.



Choreographed by Carthage Dance Faculty 
Annie Hackett and Katie Sopoci


The Department of Theatre presents the second annual dance concert featuring choreography by Carthage Dance faculty members Annie Hackett and Katie Sopoci along with Carthage student choreography. This exciting dance event has styles for all tastes including classical and contemporary ballet, jazz, modern, and hip hop. Last year more than 50 Carthage students participated in this exciting showcase.

Soaring was performed at Carthage College.


The Runner Stumbles

Written by Milan Stitt 
Directed by Eric Stibbe


Father Rivard is a priest in a small, economically depressed coal-mining town. Working on what he thinks is a “controversial” work, he lives with the brutal lives of his poor parishioners, the old, unfriendly nuns in the nearby convent, and his own self-doubts. When Rita, an energetic and bright young sister, arrives at the parish, he finds someone he can talk to, someone with whom he has much in common.

The Runner Stumbles was performed at Carthage College.


To Gillian on her 37th Birthday

Written by Michael Brady 
Directed by Samantha Tink


Ever since David’s wife Gillian was killed on her birthday, he has been completely incapable of accepting her death. Each day, he still a down to the beach to “talk” to her, and keep her alive in his mind. As he withdraws further into his fantasy world, he leaves his neglected daughter behind. Hoping to help him, David’s meddling in-laws bring an uninvited guest, and a hidden agenda, for a weekend at David’s beach house.

To Gillian on her 37th Birthday was performed at Carthage College.


Last Train to Nibroc

Written by Arlene Hutton 
Directed by Caitlin Robertson


In December 1940, an east-bound cross-country train carries the bodies of the great American writers Nathanael West and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Also on board is May, who shares her seat with a charming young passenger, Raleigh. Religious and bookish, May plans to be a missionary. Raleigh has been given a medical discharge and, inspired by West and Fitzgerald, is heading to New York to be a writer.

Last Train to Nibroc was performed at Carthage College.
  • 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 …