Theatre Arts

Live theatre is one of the most powerful forms of communication. It connects us to one another by reminding us of the shared human experience. Through artistic expression, it engages and invites conversation, celebrates our humanity and explores questions—both timeless and timely—that touch our emotions and challenge our existing beliefs. Theatre has the ability to inspire, inform and transform. Whether your passion leads you to center stage or behind the scenes, you’ll find a welcoming community at Carroll.

“Expressing myself on stage has made me feel like a complete person.”
— Rachel Verhoef '19
 

Read Rachel's story

REQUEST INFORMATION

Please complete the form below and an admission counselor will contact you shortly.

Text message opt in:
No spam, we promise!

About the Theatre Arts Major

Carroll University’s theatre arts major provides you with the knowledge needed to successfully operate an arts organization or venue while also acquiring skills to perform in productions. You’ll gain a well-rounded understanding of how a theatre production comes together from conception to curtain call as well as gain important skills in communication, collaboration, leadership, mentorsip, project management, networking, persuasion and negotiation.

Our program combines classroom study with opportunities to participate in fully-produced stage productions. Productions include a wide range of genres, from musicals and comedies to satire and tragedy. Our goal is to provide students with a wide variety of experiences, working on productions that range from historical to contemporary, Broadway to off-Broadway to original work. You’ll learn how to direct, build stage sets, design sound and lighting and craft costumes. You’ll also have the chance to write, direct and perform your own work. Our students have the opportunity to work alongside professional, Equity actors at least once each semester.

Community partnerships with local arts organizations will introduce you to the real world of operating a venue—and what strategies are necessary to address challenges and successfully accomplish goals. You’ll come away with an understanding of how to manage and promote a business working in areas like finance, human resources and marketing.

And when you’re not rehearsing at Carroll, you’ll enjoy the area’s vibrant art scene and wide variety of performing arts organizations.

Work and Learn on Campus

We offer positions in all areas that support theatre and arts for students seeking campus employment during the school year, including:

  • Theatre office/student PR Team
  • Scene shop
  • Prop shop
  • Costume shop
  • Tech lab

Summer Repertory Series

Earn course credit and gain real-world experience in a 6-8 week ‘summer stock’ setting for course credit while you develop the skills you’ll need to sustain a successful career in the theatre and arts management industries.

Theatre's Rich History in Wisconsin

Dedicated to new and innovative theater production, Wisconsin's first theatre organization was inaugurated in June 1896 with a production of Bulwer Lyton's "Richelieu," staged by May N. Rankin, the daughter of former Carroll President Walter Rankin. Miss Rankin developed the curricular program in 1901 and eventually produced graduates including Alfred Lunt, who, with wife Lynne Fontanne, has a Broadway theater named in his honor. A museum and theatre center has been established at their former estate, Ten Chimneys, in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin.

Minors

In addition to the major, Carroll offers two minors in theatre that complement many areas of study:

Internships

We help you build real world experience, explore careers and network with professionals through internship opportunities. Recent placements include the following companies:

  • Waukesha Civic Theatre
  • Sunset Playhouse
  • Lake Country Playhouse
  • Wisconsin Philharmonic
  • First Stage
  • Milwaukee Repertory Theatre
  • Skylight Theatre
  • Milwaukee Opera Theatre
  • Chamber Theatre
  • Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp

Careers

College is a big investment in a bright future. Learn more about the industries and careers our majors pursue, and the workplaces and experiences of the alumni from our program. See where yours may take you.

Milwaukee named fifth best market for recent college grads

Online job site ZipRecruiter notes excellent opportunities for humanities graduates

Learn More

Latest Program News

Hamlet and ghost of Hamlet with sword

Pop-rock meets Shakespeare in production of Hamlet (A Cover)

Musical at Carroll University puts a spin on the immortal tale of a grief-stricken son avenging his father’s villainous murder.

Cast on stage for Skylight Theatre's The Tales of Hoffman

Professor Zager choreographs for Skylight Music Theatre

Choreography for Offenbach’s famous opera by Carroll University professor is on stage in downtown Milwaukee.

More Resources

“These classes make me so excited for my career outside of Carroll.”
— Allison Klauke '19

Read Allison's story

Meet the Faculty

Carroll University Logo

Jennifer Dobby, MFA

Senior Lecturer in Theatre Arts and Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts
James Zager

James Zager

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts

Spring 2018 Adjunct Faculty

Panoramic View of campus