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, mentorship, project management, networking, persuasion and negotiation. New in Fall of 2020, students can also major in Musical Theatre. The goal of the new 48-credit BA major is to train Carroll students in the unique and demanding art of musical theatre, by creating successful ‘triple threats’ (those with exceptional abilities in the areas of acting, singing and dance.)
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:
- Costume shop
- Prop shop
- Scene shop
- Tech lab
- Theatre office/student public relations team
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.